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William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Special Edition

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Special Edition

Total Film

April 2002

Link to Article on External Website

Director Baz Luhrmann
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo
Cert 12

Film *****

In-between Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann took Shakespeare's most popular play and turned it into one of the boldest movies of the '90s. Transplanting Will's tragedy to modern-day Verona Beach, and using brash visuals to blast the cobwebs off, Luhrmann's `reimagining' works in the best sense of the word. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes moving and photogenic as the star-crossed lovers, this is a winning package.

Commentary by Baz Luhrmann, co-writer Craig Pearce, production designer Catherine Martin and cinematographer Don McAlpine, Director's Gallery, Interview Gallery, Cinematographers Gallery, Design Gallery, two music videos, TV spots, trailer. It's a sign of the times that even an extras-packed disc like Romeo + Juliet can't help being disappointing, despite the presence of so many Galleries (behind-the-scenes bits to dip into). Lack of material isn't the problem: the Director's Gallery alone features Luhrmann weighing in on all aspects of the film. There is analysis of key scenes, rehearsal footage and more. But the interviews are disappointingly truncated, there's no comprehensive Making Of featurette and even the commentary tilts to the dry side. Much care has gone into assembling this disc, but you can't help feeling Luhrmann and co could have furnished better material.

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