William Shakespeare's Romeo Juliet (1996)
Facts and Figures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
William Shakespeare's Romeo Juliet (1996) Movie Review
Closer to an update of West Side Story than anything else, what makes this rendition of the "two star-crossed lovers" saga stand out is dialogue which is largely faithful to the text set against a post-modern backdrop frighteningly reminiscent of Los Angeles. While it's a thrill to watch (if you can avoid a headache), it's maddeningly hard to follow and considerably self-conscious. Plus there's the issue of a soundtrack that's probably sold more copies than the film did tickets.... Will this version survive the test of time? Probably not, but it will forever stand out as an amazing and powerful experiment in filmmaking.
If you dismissed the movie as kids' stuff in its theatrical release, think again, and get thee to a video merchant.
Now released as a special edition DVD, Romeo + Juliet's digital highlight is its commentary with Luhrmann and his co-conspirators plus various behind-the-scenes interviews and other features.