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Romeo + Juliet review

One of the liveliest Shakespeare adaps of the past 20 years

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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