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                            Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet
                                    Comparing the Film to the Play



Instructions: As you watch the 1996 film version, keep track of ways in which director Baz Luhrmann has
updated or modernized Shakespeare’s original story. Consider his “bag of tricks” as you evaluate each
scene.
The Prologue
                                                                              Baz Lurhmann’s Bag of
                                                                                         Tricks
                                                                             Camera Angles
                                                                             Lighting (natural/artificial)
Act One                                                                      Setting (time and place)
      The Servants Fight and the Prince’s Edict                             Costuming
                                                                             Casting
                                                                             Characterization
      Romeo’s Concerned Parents                                             Objective Correlative
                                                                             Music
                                                                             Line Delivery
                                                                             Props and Symbols
      Romeo and Benvolio (“invitation” to Capulet ball)
                                                                             Changes to the Text (omitting
                                                                             scenes, rearranging lines, etc.)

      Juliet, Nurse, and Lady Capulet talk of Marriage
                                                                                Here’s a Cast List for your
                                                                                       Information
      Mercutio, Queen Mab speech, Romeo’s dream
                                                                             Leonardo DiCaprio    Romeo
                                                                             Claire Danes         Juliet
                                                                             John Leguizamo       Tybalt
      Capulet Ball                                                          Harold Perrineau     Mercutio
                                                                             Pete Postlethwaite   Friar Laurence
                                                                             Paul Sorvino         Lord Capulet
Act Two                                                                      Brian Dennehy        Ted Montague

       Balcony Scene
                                                                             Paul Rudd            Dave Paris
   
                                                                             Vondie Curtis-Hall   Captain Prince
                                                                             Miriam Margolyes     The Nurse
                                                                             Jesse Bradford       Balthasar
      Romeo meets with Friar Laurence                                       M. Emmet Walsh       Apothecary
                                                                             Zak Orth             Gregory
                                                                             Jamie Kennedy        Sampson
                                                                             Dash Mihok           Benvolio
      Nurse and Juliet



      The Wedding
Act Three
      Fight scene between Mercutio and Tybalt



      Julet’s soliloquy awaiting Romeo



      Romeo’s revenge on Tybalt



      Prince’s declaration of Romeo’s banishment



      Romeo at Friar Laurence’s Cell



      Paris and the Capulet parents



      Romeo and Juliet’s night together



      Juliet defies her parents’ wishes



Act Four
      Juliet at Friar Laurence’s Cell where she gets the potion



      Juliet takes the potion



Act Five
      Romeo learns of Juliet’s “death” from Balthasar



      “Friar John”



      The apothecary



      The deaths



      The Prince’s final speech
                                                      Name: ______________________________ Period: _____

                Drawing Conclusions and Evaluating Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet

Instructions: Answer the Following Questions following your viewing of this film.

Film adaptations of literary works are often interpretations, not facsimiles. What do you think of
Lurhmann’s interpretation? Is it effective or ineffective? Explain.




Do you agree with Luhrman’s choice of keeping true to the Shakespearean language even though he
updated the setting? Why or why not?




In your opinion, does this film version more accurately evince conflicts (i.e., the feud, violence, etc.) than
the original text?




Consider the genre of text-to-screen movies. Some recent examples include Great Expectations, Pride
and Prejudice, The Notebook, Harry Potter, and The DaVinci Code.

              Why do you think directors and screenwriters choose to adapt books to the screen?




              Why do you think actors decide to star in these types of movies?




              Why do you think viewers enjoy seeing these types of movies?




Out of five stars, what would you give this film? Why?

								
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