Rosaline and Romeo + Juliet Are Dueling Takes on a Timeless Classic

The premise of Romeo and Juliet has been transformed into many different narratives over the years. Some left an indelible mark on viewers’ imaginations and to this day stand the test of time. If you’ve seen Hulu’s Rosaline, a take on the classic story through adaptation Rebekah Serle‘s novel when you were mine, you might notice that Baz Luhrman‘s 1996 rendition of the same classic story, Romeo + Juliet is immediately called up as the recommended watch. These two films would make a great double feature for a date night, they’re both whimsically romantic, passionate and funny. Viewing these two renditions back-to-back might also prompt some interesting observations about how these films compare. Although both are very different, they still manage to complement each other.


“Rosaline” and “Romeo + Juliet” are stylistic opposites

These two works reverse each other stylistically: Romeo + Juliet combines its bombastic, postmodern look with Shakespeare’s original text, while Rosaline uses a modern colloquial offset with its 14th-century surroundings. Each film is incredibly effective in its own way, and uses these choices to its advantage. The humor there Rosaline lands because Kaitlyn DeverThe brazen performance of as the title character is underscored by how out of place she feels in this regal setting. The emboldened leading man grumbles “Blow me” during a romantic carriage ride with possible suitor, Dario (Sean Teele). The setting shines before this mischievous, amorous protagonist and her plans to win back Romeo (Kyle Allen). A superb landscape is fully exploited, so Rosaline’s quest for love is filled with scenic nature and eye-catching structures backed by fabulous fashion.

RELATED: ‘Rosaline’ Trailer Teases a Comedic Twist on ‘Romeo & Juliet’

The same applies to Romeo + Juliet, although it aims to evoke a very different set of emotions. Where Rosaline poking fun at the abandoned, marginalized ex-girlfriend, this Shakespearean reenactment is written to the letter of its source text, but with many noticeable, recognizable phrases. The power of this film lies in the unexpected. From the outset, when the prologue is delivered by a newscaster, it’s clear that this time-honoured piece is delivered with unprecedented creativity. Clever details are reminiscent of the original era, such as B. Weapons with names like “Sword” or “Rapier”. Though the city is swanky and seemingly glamorous, the quarrelsome Montagues and Capulets mafia families expose Verona’s seedy underbelly and create an extravagant playground for families to brawl in. Just as the love of Romeo and Juliet contrasts the bleeding and fighting among the gangs, so the film’s dizzying, seductive visuals belie its antiquated language. Despite his charisma Romeo + Juliet takes on a darker mood as it still deals with rivalry, hatred and violence as the main themes. Rosaline uses the feuding families as a backdrop to set a much brighter tone.

“Rosaline” is silly where “Romeo + Juliet” is seductive

Rosaline successfully targets a younger audience with its central storyline of a young woman eager to explore the world before she is married. The overall tone of the film is very playful, the stakes are relatively low, and it pokes fun at the teenage characters making childish mistakes. Julia (Isabela Mercedes) is portrayed as a smart, kind young woman who still manages to come up with the worst possible plan to be happy and content with Romeo. The point of the film is that love, especially young love, can be outright stupid. Rosaline, smart as she is, is not immune to her own shortcomings. In a satisfying conclusion to the film, she comes just in time to present a different take on the end of the tragic lovers that we’ve come to know. Rosaline and company really seem to be having a great time turning this classic tale on its head, and with the sex and violence taking a backseat, it’s a rendition that everyone can enjoy.

Luhrmann’s characteristically hypnotic, seductive approach emphasizes the folly of young love in his own way. Its cinematography, editing, and production design reflect the whirlwind of emotions that its romance carries Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes would feel. Just as he pushes this visual storytelling to the extreme, his characters are also pushed to their limits. Tensions run high as these young people are ill-equipped to balance their passionate feelings of love and hate with the power they give off. As a result, both friends and Romeo and Juliet themselves die. Though skipped in levity RosalineMercutios (Harold Perrineau) dying words: “A plague upon your two houses!” will be fully realized as this chaotic love story unfolds and each player falls further and further into despair. stay true to the original text Romeo + Juliet Whereby the tragic aspect of the love story is preserved Rosaline reinvents the tone and revitalizes a familiar narrative.

“Romeo + Juliet” has endured to this day

Although it was released in the 1990s, Romeo + Juliet is still considered a compelling, entertaining watch today. That’s partly because we love seeing the baby faces of some of our favorite stars. It can also be attributed to Shakespeare’s storytelling being universally recognized as works built to last. But the specific direction of this film – the combination of all its elements – makes it a truly timeless piece. The performances are so real that they are bewildering in their exploration of love at first sight. Staged as a costume party, the Capulet masked ball contains sequences such as the encounter through aquarium glass that live on in film history many years later. With this film, Luhrmann finds the perfect material to shame his unique style. His larger-than-life methodology is particularly helpful here, as it allows the audience to fill in some gaps that are the result of a certain language barrier. The dialogue and the technical elements are all equally engaging and perfectly coordinated. The dreaminess of it all makes for an immersive experience, be it 1996 or almost thirty years later. Rosalineon the other hand, it succeeds in trying to be a reflection of the 2020s, although it’s obviously not set in that time. There are jokes that allude to the specific era it was written in, such as B. “makes this city great again” or a simple “Yaaas“. This particular angle on women’s empowerment is also very illuminating for a renewed interest in women’s stories outside of the search for love. Exactly this sparkling energy is needed Rosaline in a whole new direction.

Each film approaches queer representation in its own way

Another notable difference between these two versions is their attitude towards queer representation. Rosaline’s best friend, Paris (Spencer Stevenson) denotes a character who is gay. His sexual orientation is made abundantly clear when Rosaline explains her ploy to have him marry Juliet. Romeo + Juliet, however, seems to be more indirect in its portrayal of gender and queer identity as it is much more queer-coded. Mercutio, in particular, dawns an ode to Camp at the costume ball, and his exchanges with the other men in their gang, including Romeo, are laced with Shakespearean sexual innuendos. Men’s obsession with guns and thirst for blood as an outlet for their masculinity can also be read as repressed homoeroticism. Rosaline is very much a product of its time and Romeo + Juliet seems to age like fine wine, but both films use their different methods to play to their strengths.

Regardless of what kind of romantic movie you’re craving, these two titles offer different takes on the same enduring love story. Something they both have in common is that they each enlist an excellent cast to really envelop the audience in their world. Whether you prefer Karen Maine‘s comedy or Baz Luhrmann’s intensity, either film is sure to satisfy you when you’re in the mood to shake up your perception Romeo and Juliet. Rosaline and Romeo + Juliet Are Dueling Takes on a Timeless Classic

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