Romeo and Juliet - 1996  

Posted by Linda Keilbart Scanlan in , , , , ,

History is fascinating. The movie industry has brought truth, glamor and understanding to the historically challenged population. Shakespeare seems to be number one on the list for those historically challenged people. Fortunately Twentieth Century Fox has given this group of handicapped individuals hope.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes starred in the 1996 Shakespearean film “Romeo and Juliet”. A new generation was introduced to this classic set in “the futuristic urban backdrop of Verona Beach.” Though in a modern setting, the original dialog has been maintained. The combination of old and new created a new form of “classic” for movie goers.

I watched this film for the first time in a school environment for troubled teens. It was part of their required English credit. I was amazed how these High School teens could relate to the presentation of rivals. The altruistic viability of this film made those kids think twice about life, death and gangs.

Viewers are exposed to other Shakespearean dialog as “there are various billboards throughout the movie that contain quotes from other Shakespeare plays: -
  • 'Shoot forth thunder' (the gun advert) is from 'The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth', Act IV, Scene I, Line 109.
  • 'Experience is by industry achiev'd' (in the Capulet lift) is from 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona', Act I, Scene III, Line 25.
  • 'Such stuff as dreams are made on' (another advert) is from 'The Tempest', Act IV, Scene I, Lines 168-169. Prospero (the name of the drink in the advert) is the player who says these lines.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt were both considered for the part of Juliet. Claire Danes ultimately got the role. Claire wore a wig throughout the filming of this movie. Special wigs were made for her underwater scenes.

This film is rate PG-13 for violence and sensuality. It is strongly recommended that parents preview this film. Having gang images may be disturbing and unwanted. It is a great way to introduce your teenagers to a bit of English culture, while enjoying the talents of a true writer.

Return to the Neighborhood!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at Tuesday, May 06, 2008 and is filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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