Monday, 29 August 2011

The Tragic Love Affair

Titanic is without a doubt one of my favourite films, certainly taking pride of place in my top 10 list amongst Baz Luhrmann directed Romeo + Juliet. And you don't have to think too hard about what those both have in common (Clue: it's a very good looking man)!

Whilst on the subject, Shakespeare was (and remains to be) an absolute literary genius; the passion, tragedy, gripping plot, imagery, symbolism, character development, quotation, as well as astonishingly original, balanced and interesting way of writing is what makes his certainly irreplaceable talent as one of the best playwrights of all time. The reason for so many variations and versions.

Namely, the Baz Luhrmann's film version. The tragic, lovelorn story is a personal favourite of mine with Macbeth a close second. Although one to usually completely disallow myself to become distracted by modern counterparts or versions of aged pieces (I often prefer many original versions of songs that have been copied by others and never as greatly), the soundtrack to the Romeo + Juliet 1996 film brings it to life on screen, making it stronger visually, drawing you in and creating an emotive viewing experience. And it was with the help of my eternally youthful A-Level English teacher (who partied in Ibiza during the summer, wore Juicy Couture and was admired by many a fellow male peers) and her creativity, passion and intelligence in directing and scripting a sixth form stage production of Romeo & Juliet that powered and flourished my absolute love of the play. She even starred in her modernised version- modernised in the sense that the opposing families were each representing different social groups within modern day society ("chav" versus "goth", etc.) and of course, using the overwhelmingly emotive soundtrack completed the performance. I can honestly say it was the best school stage productions I have ever seen and unlike anything seen at a school. It was just so professional whilst at the same time incredibly exciting and touching- a truly amazing show. 
Most people's favourite scene (I think it goes without saying) from the 1996 film version starring the stunning Clare Danes and beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio features the pair's initial glances through the glowing blue aquarium tank prior to the exciting frolics in and out of the lifts away from the judgement of her parents and later the intimacy they share underwater. Along with the transposition of often complete angst, romance and the feeling of longing for your one true love.

Oh, it is just stunning; wonderfully pieced together, it is Luhrmann's archetypal flamboyancy and poignancy that makes the screen electric. I vow you to watch it if you never have.

It will no doubt instantly become, thanks to the genius that is Shakespeare, not just one of your favourite films, but favourite plays of all time.



  1. That scene where they first meet gets me everytime! I actually love the whole soundtrack,

    Rosie x

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