Romeo + Juliet review

Perhaps the worst thing about Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 update of the Bard’s young romance was that it spawned a brief fad of me-too Shakespeare revamps.

The Aussie director made it all look too easy, not least the attention to detail.

Every last element of this riotous, Shakespeare-as-gangster-carnival-cum-spaghetti-western was agonised over, from the spot-on modern musical choices to production design that creates a parallel-world Miami you feel you could walk into.

Overcooked? A bit.

But throw in a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as two particularly star-crossed lovers (together with the not-bad writing) and you have one of the liveliest Shakespeare adaps of the past 20 years - back in cinemas again just for Valentine’s Day.


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