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This Romeo Packs Heat
(Time - April 29, 1996)

Romeo and Juliet haven't joined the N.R.A. But would Shakespeare, who turns 432 this week, approve of what Strictly Ballroom director Baz Luhrmann has done with his play? "I wouldn't have been interested if we'd done it in the original language," says LEONARDO DICAPRIO, who plays Romeo. "It's a much more wild, interesting version. It loses a big part of it, but it gains a lot." His Romeo lives in a fantasy world in Latin America, with cars and lots of guns. "Everything was extreme, but not overdone," says CLAIRE DANES (Juliet). "My eyes were constantly being fed." Eyes were fine, but the cast and crew in Mexico were constantly ill. "It was the king of Montezuma's revenge," says DiCaprio. Not the Bard's?

© 1996, Time