1996's Romeo + Juliet is set in modern times, but all characters talk in old English. I heard old English words like thou, canst etc.

Why do they talk in old English?


As mentioned on Wikipedia

Romeo + Juliet is a 1996 American romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which is believed to be written between 1591 and 1595. Not to mention, it was revised many times after that.

At that time, English was different than today. Words such as thou and canst were popular at that time.

More importantly

Director Luhrmann also said in an interview:

Our philosophy has always been that we think up what we need in our life, choose something creative that will make that life fulfilling, and then follow that road. With Romeo and Juliet what I wanted to do was to look at the way in which Shakespeare might make a movie of one of his plays if he was a director. How would he make it? We don't know a lot about Shakespeare, but we do know he would make a 'movie' movie. He was a player. We know about the Elizabethan stage and that he was playing for 3000 drunken punters, from the street sweeper to the Queen of England - and his competition was bear-baiting and prostitution. So he was a relentless entertainer and a user of incredible devices and theatrical tricks to ultimately create something of meaning and convey a story. That was what we wanted to do.

Besides, it is also a way to honor Shakespeare.

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