“In the fair Verona this happens … ” with this verse begins the greatest love story of all time: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, would anyone dare to modify this famous tragedy? Director Baz Luhrmann did it, changing the splendid Verona Italian for Mexico City, Veracruz and Texcoco, State of Mexico, places that became the stage of his film Romeo and Juliet (1996).
Under this contemporary vision of Romeo and Juliet, the timelessness and dissonance is palpable even in the locations. For example, the mythical scene in which lovers meet during a masquerade ball at the Capuleto mansion – Julieta’s family – was filmed at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. In this impressive nineteenth-century palatial building, which now houses the National History Museum, the protagonists look for the first time, fall in love and sign their romantic sentence of death.
The best scenes of love – the secret wedding and the suicides of the protagonists – were filmed in the Purísimo Corazón de María, a parish of great dimensions and Gothic air, located in the street of Gabriel Mancera, in Colonia del Valle CDMX.
However, the most unusual moment of the film takes place at the end, when, on the beaches of Veracruz – surrounded by palapas, restaurants and souvenir shops – there is the death of Mercutio, Romeo’s inseparable friend.
Undoubtedly, the folklore and contrasting environments offered by Mexico were the perfect setting to reinvent one of the great classics of literature that, among surreal details, remains the most tragic and passionate love story in history.