The Juliet movie is the first in a series of romantic comedies directed by Luhrmann. This is my favorite of his movies. It is not quite like the Romeo and Juliet movie which was based on the life and romance between the Greek hero and the Roman goddess, Juliet and Marc Anthony. This movie is much more adult oriented and entertaining. However, it will make you feel like your sitting in the middle of an ocean with the two lovers.
The Juliet movie takes place in ancient Rome during the time of the Roman Republic. Luhrmann takes us back to ancient Rome, where the story is centered. The rise and fall of the Roman Republic are depicted through the life of one of their most beloved members of the Roman society, Julius Caesar. As a result, we are introduced to Caesar's infamous character, Caesar Flaccus. In the original literary version, we learn that Caesar was born in Egypt and that his mother's husband, Flavius Sulla, raised him as a member of the Egyptian royalty.
During the first few minutes of the film, we do not know who is actually portraying Julius Caesar. In the third minute, we learn that he is Julius Caesar. It then turns out that Antonia Constance, the daughter of Caesar's Praetorian Guard, has secretly was raising a boy, Caesar Junior, inside the house. In the fourth minute, we find out that Junias is actually younger than Caesar, at least in appearance, since he was playing a game with Servia. The film ends with Caesar Junior strangling his brother, Mark Antony, in the courtyard.
The opening scene of the film shows Joanna waiting by the river with her mother, Flavius, and a bevy of her maids. As she stands there by the edge of the bank, she reveals to her mother that she is leaving for a vacation in Italy with her lover, Antonio. Flavius asks her to tell Antony that he is not allowed to go with her, since he is not a free man. However, before Flavius can say much, a disguised Julius Caesar strolls by and announces to Joanna and Antonio that they have been invited to supper at Caesar's home. The two women happily attend the dinner.
After the women have been escorted out of the house, they are met by their Roman guards who tell them that they are being charged with "uliaquai" which means disloyalty. Antony sneaks out of the house and after confronting a Roman guard named Casca (Carlo Cecchi), he manages to escape. Joanna and Antonio are told that they will be arrested if they do not return immediately.
Returning to their villa, Joanna and Antonio are confronted by an angry Roman guard who demands that they leave. Antony refuses, and after being sprayed with pepper spray, he collapses on the ground. While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Joanna finds the door of the villa opened and stoops down to get out of her house. She is knocked unconscious when her dog falls through the door and then taken to the Villa Neve where she is told that her lover has also gone missing.
Arriving at the appointed place, Joanna goes through a door that leads straight to a swimming pool. She sees a slim, thin figure in a wheelchair coming towards her, and then notices his briefcase and cane. The man tells Joanna that he is from Italy and that he works for a rich industrialist. The man asks Joanna to meet him in a cafe for a cup of coffee, and he proceeds to take her to his apartment. Inside the apartment, he informs her that he is going to give her a twenty-year code in case anything should happen to him in the future.
Joanna finally gets out of the apartment and finds Roman already there. He starts to kiss her, but she pulls away, telling him that she does not love him anymore. Roman replies that he is not a hero because he only wanted to offer help to Joanna and then leaves. As the credits begin to roll, a brief voice says that Mercutio is watching them from a distance and then cuts to black.