Romeo & Juliet (1996) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Romeo & Juliet (1996)

Romeo and Juliet, two teenagers who fall in love at a costume party only to find that their love might be doomed from the start as they are both from two different families that are sworn enemies. The Montagues and the Capulets of Verona have held a grudge against each other for many years. Each family has a teenager of roughly the same age; Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet. Now Romeo is in quite a state. He has been in love with his cousin, the goodly Rosaline but seeing as how Rosaline has committed herself to joining a convent and thus Romeo can not be with her, he is depressed and wounded and completely oblivious to the recent row instigated by his friends and cousin against a few of the house of Capulet. After the police deal with the recent upset on the streets and threaten exile to whoever next disturbs the peace, Romeo's cousin finds him moping on the beach and in an effort to raise his spirits convinces him to join he and their friends in a crashing of a Capulet party. Romeo agrees although reluctantly as he feels some ill omen about the night. While there, he falls in love with a young woman and her with him. Though later at the party, it is revealed that she is Juliet of the house of Capulet and his sworn enemy. The two are dismayed that they are both from opposing houses. They decide that it does not matter what name they each bear and decide they will marry in secret. Meanwhile, Juliet's cousin Tybalt has recognized Romeo and is set to dispose of him for being so brash as to crash a Capulet party, but is stopped by his Uncle who does not want the vibe of his party to be ruined. Romeo and his friends leave the party before any fighting can commence. The next morning Romeo, his cousin Tybalt and his best friend Mercutio are discussing the previous nights events when Juliet's nurse appears and demands to speak to Romeo alone. She intimates to him that Juliet has arranged for the two of them to be married in secret by Romeo's priest and so Romeo and Juliet meet and are married at last. Romeo rushes off to tell Mercutio of his happy news when Tybalt shows up looking for blood, still sore over Romeo's appearance at the costume ball. Tybalt attempts to engage Romeo in a duel but Romeo refuses as he sees Tybalt as family now but he does not reveal why he will not fight him. Tybalt is enraged. Mercutio is also enraged as he believes that Romeo should fight Tybalt to the death and when Romeo continues to balk Mercutio jumps into the fray to fight Tybalt. At this time, Romeo gets in between the two to stop the fighting but in doing so doesn't allow Mercutio to defend himself against Tybalt's attack and he dies. Tybalt flees and Romeo chases after him this time intending to kill him, which he does, on the steps of the church. Romeo is exiled by the chief of police on pain of death should he ever return. The Capulet house is in mourning over the death of Tybalt and Juliet is in a panic over the prospect of having to wed her father's friend Paris. She goes to the priest and demands that he help her devise a way for her and Romeo to be together. The priest gives Juliet a substance that when consumed makes the drinker appear dead. He tells her that when she is sealed in the tomb, after her family has looked upon her face for the last time he will take her out of the vault and reunite her with Romeo and help the two of them escape Verona. They go through with the plan yet all does not go smoothly. Romeo does not get the priests message that Juliet is only faking her death. Instead he hears from his cousin that Juliet is dead and rushes back to Verona and breaks into her tomb. Seeing her lifeless body and feeling all hope lost he finds the bottle of liquid still with some inside and drinks the last of it. At that moment, Juliet wakes and sees Romeo but only has a few moments with him before he dies next to her. Not wanting to live without Romeo she takes his gun and commits suicide. Thus the story ends, with both houses after lost loved ones and leaving them to rethink whatever it was that was vitriolic between them in the first place.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Best part of story, including ending: I liked that none of the original lines from the play were changed but the story took place in modern day, set on the beach in a town that quite resembled Los Angeles and Venice Beach. It gave the story a whole new life even though I was already familiar with the original play and made the plot a lot more accessible for a wider audience due to it's modern setting.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was the scene were Mercutio is killed by Tybalt. I found it really disturbing and gut wrenching because Mercutio has enough time to process what is happening to him. "They have made worm's meat out of me," he says. I thought it was well acted by the guy playing Mercutio.

Opinion about the main character: The main characters are Romeo and Juliet and both of them are not completely unlikable characters but when you take into account that they're both hormonal teenagers and fell in love at first sight and decide to get married the next day you can easily get a bit annoyed with them and their rashness. They are somewhat selfish and reckless characters to an extent.

The review of this Movie prepared by Kyle Spencer a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

In this modern day retelling of the Shakespeare classic a teen falls in love with a girl. The only problem is that they come from rival families. As they continue their mostly secret love one of Juliet's cousins goes after Romeo and Juliet's mother wants to marry another man. These and other problems arise as they continue their love and plan to elope.
The review of this Movie prepared by Jack Bauer

The Monatagues and the Capulets are two fighting families in Verona Beach. When their quarelling has gone too far, the Prince decrees that if anyone fights, they will be executed. Romeo Montague is a love-struck teenager, who wants a girl badly. He then sneaks into a Capulet party, and quickly falls in love with Juliet Capulet, and vice versa. They later marry secretly only to be disturbed when Romeo kills her cousin, Tybalt. Romeo is banished, and Father Laurence divises a plan to get them back together. Placing the classic love story in a modern-day setting seems like a strange idea at first, yet it works. Baz Luhrmann has made an incredible world, yet still using the bard's words. Although a bit far from reality at times, this version doesn't compare with the 1968 classic, yet it's still interesting theatre.
The review of this Movie prepared by Estefan Ellison

Script Analysis of Romeo & Juliet (1996)

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   reconnecting after brief encounter Family, struggling with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   All family members Lover is...    -   an historic enemy

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   simply wealthy Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   dangerous Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   explicit references to deaths Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   kissing    -   touching of personal anatomy    -   seeing nude male butt    -   sex under blankets Any profanity?    -   None    -   Occasional swearing If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of dancing If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 10-15 Is this movie based on a    -   play

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Romeo & Juliet (1996)

Romeo & Juliet (1996) Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian