Baz Luhrmann & Shakespeare: Great alchemy

I remembered some articles where I found Baz decided pursue the making of  a beautiful trilogy, composed by Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+Juliet, and of course, Moulin Rouge… I couldn’t  deny it his way of telling stories made me love his work. Some artists compared his vision with the influence of a generation nurture visually by MTV. Meanwhile others could perceive the distinction between of a vibrant voice, easily to be identified by its own vision.

I enjoyed the film during a celebration of being single with my cousins. It was 20 years ago, I remembered I watched since the first scene the union from the past and the present. When Orson Welles directed his famous movie Citizen Kane, the use of big newspapers to tell part of the story appeared as the first element to show what was going with the families, a little tv set communicate the first words from one of the The Bard’s most famous stories.

Undoubtedly, this little detail made all the difference between this and other modern versions of the classic tragic teenage love story. Luhrmann did not change a word, an even when most of the people would consider putting all the passion, satire, sarcastic and incredible lines in the original style. He knew how to increase the pulse of her audience using some elements from a modern and violent context as Gangs, violence, drugs, music, fear, which attract the followers from the young generation from the end of the 90’s and provoked his final product becomes an etereal sum of dangerous elements, tragedie, love, sex, passion, lies and confusion, next to the fresh faces of two future media icons like Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Music: A sparkling element in Baz’ s films

A lot of people remembered the beautiful soundtrack with singers like Kym Mazelle, Radiohead, The Cardigans, Blur, Des’ree, among other famous artists from the 90’s, which brought us the best memories with lyrics dedicated to romance, sadness, etereal beauty, rebel spirit…Undoubtedly, all the things anybody would find relevant and interesting when you are in your teenage years.

Songs like Kissing you, Love me, Young hearts run free were part of at least top 20 in multiple Music charts as part of MTV. I know in an era, where the most popular songs said things like “I don’t fuck with you”, the old lyrics become a balsam to the ears with such kind of soft lyrics. For the audience is easy to connect with the basic emotions provoked by the first love.

Even though, you still had some kind of eclectic entertainment as the trans karaoke show made by  a sexy Mercutio, dressed with a tigth short dress, and his group of dancers as Taylor Swift has during any concert or regular Awards season. Those elements did not eclipse Shakespeare’s original concept but attracting young viewers with the great vitality, and in some sort of way brought back  a litle bit of emotion provoked, for example, by  other classics like The Party starring by Peter Sellers.

However, what I really found excellent was the talent to mix each modern element with the original lines written by Shakespeare. I like to recall the lines I read one or two years before the premiere. Watching DiCaprio expressed every word from the playwrigth to attract the attention of the beautiful Juliet was the best…

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

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Sunset

Baz had all the credit to take the beautiful, passional, intense, and tragic words from the group of pages to insert everything in a surreal universe, where two families cannot stand the love of their descendants. A simple story, which had appearead once and again on the scenario and in the real life, since the first time an actor said loud the first words “Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene…”. It made the story not unique but timeless. The sensation of a fast heartbeat going in crescendo every time you see him or her against their parents’ desire gave the story an endless vitality for young couples, as well as actors in different versions, who got involved with the storyline.

Because the first love used to capture your soul at the first sight and even with a tragic ending, it is impossible to ignore the transformation provoked by it, Romeo+Juliet made an amazing use of music, image and rhythm for telling again one of the best written stories.

 

 

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