So I know I already featured a Baz Luhrmann film on Cinema Sips this month….. and here’s another one! Because it’s still February and still romance month, I couldn’t resist watching Romeo + Juliet (DVD/Download). I adore the 1968 Zeffirelli version too, but for my money, Lurhmann does the best job of capturing the energy of the original play. The director has said in interviews that he wanted to make a film in the way that Shakespeare himself might have done it, and since William Shakespeare was the ultimate entertainer of his day, it stands to reason that by the time the mid-90’s rolled around, he would have incorporated an Ecstasy-fueled party and Mercutio in sparkly sequin drag costumes. Definitely.
Romeo + Juliet stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes in the title roles, and their chemistry is part what makes the film such a success. I love the constant motif of water, particularly how the big balcony scene was done in a swimming pool. The lighting and the turquoise radiance of pool turn it into a much more sensual scene than I ever could have imagined when reading the play. Because it’s Luhrmann there are so many visual treats, even becoming chaotic at times, but the use of the original Shakespearean dialogue helps to balance the frenzy out. Is it word for word Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? No. Does it draw me into the story and make me feel the passion and tragedy of these star-crossed lovers? Without a doubt.
The color of Juliet’s fake-death potion inspired my cocktail this week. Though not actually poisonous, it looks like it might be! While watching Romeo + Juliet, I recommend drinking a Mortal Drug. (Apologies in advance for having to ask for Kinky Blue at the liquor store, but it actually feeds the decades-long Jolly Rancher addiction I have in the best way).
2 oz Kinky Blue Liqueur
1 oz Blue Curaçao
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Splash of club soda
Mix together Kinky Blue, Blue Curaçao, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then pour into a highball glass. Top with club soda.
While watching this film, be sure to look out for all the billboard slogans that are nods to Shakespearean quotes, and listen to the carefully curated pop songs. The version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” is still one of my favorites. Just, try to look past Clare Danes’ ugly crying. ‘Tis not pretty. Cheers!