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                          WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S

                             ROMEO & JULIET

          
      
          
                               Adapted by
          
                      Craig Pearce & Baz Luhrmann
          


          

          
                                                 Shooting script
          
                                                 October 6, 1995

          

          

          EXT. HIGHWAY. AFTERNOON.


          
          A ribbon of freeway stretching into a blue and pink late
          afternoon sky. A huge dark sedan, windows tinted gold,
          headlights blazing, powers directly for us.

          
          CUT TO: A heavy, low-slung, pickup truck traveling toward
          the sedan.

          
          WIDE SHOT: Sky, freeway, the cars closing.

          
          TIGHT ON: The sedan.

          
          TIGHT ON: The pickup.

          
          Like thunderous, jousting opponents, the cars pass in a
          deafening cacophony of noise.

          

          INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.


          
          TIGHT ON: The fat face of GREGORY, yelling at the
          disappearing sedan.

          

           GREGORY
           A dog of the house of Capulet moves
           me!

          
          He and the pimply-faced front-seat passenger, SAMPSON,
          explode with laughter.

          
          The red-haired driver BENVOLIO, keeps his eyes on the road.

          

          EXT. EXIT RAMP. AFTERNOON.


          
          The truck spirals down an exit ramp and screeches into busy
          driveway of a large gas station.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          Attendants immediately run to the truck. Two clean
          windshields and duco, the third fills the gas tank.

          

          INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.


          
          Gregory in the back seat is boasting outrageously.

          

           GREGORY
           A dog of that house shall move me
           to stand. I will take the wall of
           any man or maid of Capulets.

          
          Sampson, sarcastically.

          

           SAMPSON
           That shows thee a weak slave. For
           the weakest goes to the wall.

          

           GREGORY
           'Tis true; and therefore women,
           being the weaker vessels, are ever
           thrust to the wall. Therefore, I
           will push Capulet's men from the
           wall, and thrust his maids to the
           wall.

          
          Benvolio, disgusted, gets out of the car.

          

           BENVOLIO
           The quarrel is between our masters...

          

           GREGORY
           (yelling after him)
           ...and us their men.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          FOLLOW: Benvolio as he heads for the bathroom.

          
          PICK UP: A mother wrangling three little boys out of a
          station wagon - the smallest kid carries a toy pistol.

          
          SUPER FAST SCAN TRACK: Past the mother to - the huge black
          sedan pulling up outside the gas station mini-mart.

          
          The front door of the sedan opens. Shiny black boots -
          decorated with tiny, silver, cat-shaped spurs - plant
          themselves on the ground. The boots are joined by two other
          pairs of well-shod feet.

          
          HOLD: The spurred boots move out of frame.

          
          CRANE UP: The other feet belong to a tough-looking Latin
          youth ABRA - and his goateed side-kick PETRUCHIO.

          
          Abra and Petruchio enter the mini-mart, as four white-clad
          girls exit.

          
          FOLLOW: The girls as they head for their car.

          
          SUPER FAST SCAN TRACK: Past the girls to:

          

          INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.


          
          Sampson is trying to out boast Gregory.

          

           SAMPSON
           I will show myself a tyrant. When
           I have fought with the men I will
           be civil with the maids, I will cut
           off their heads.

          
          Gregory; mock outrage.

          

           GREGORY
           The heads of the maids?

          
          Sampson leers lecherously at the girls.

          

           SAMPSON
           Ay, the heads of the maids, or
           their maiden heads, take it in what
           sense thou wilt.

          

           GREGORY
           They must take it in sense that
           feel it.

          
          Gregory and Sampson pump up the song on the sound system and
          sing out at the girls.

          

           GREGORY/SAMPSON

           (SINGING)
           I am a pretty piece of flesh!
           I am a pretty piece of flesh!
           Me, they shall feel while I am able
           to stand;
           I am a pretty piece of flesh!

          
          The girls, pretending not to notice, get into the car.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION - MINIMART. AFTERNOON.


          
          GREGORY'S P.O.V.: The car pulls away revealing... Abra and
          Petruchio exiting the mini-mart.

          

          INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.


          
          CLOSE ON: Gregory.

          
          CLOSE ON: Sampson - Their singing abruptly halts.

          

           SAMPSON
           Here comes of the House of Capulet.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          Abra and Petruchio stare coldly toward the boys.

          

          INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.


          
          CLOSE ON: Sampson swallowing hard.

          
          CLOSE ON: Gregory; eyes locked to the Capulets. With fake
          bravado he nudges Sampson.

          

           GREGORY
           Quarrel I will back thee.

          
          CLOSE ON: Sampson trying to quell his rising panic.

          

           SAMPSON
           Let us take the law of our sides.
           Let them begin.

          
          SUDDENLY: BANG! Gregory and Sampson jump.

          
          WHIP PAN: It was the garage attendant slamming the hood.

          
          Gregory and Sampson are mortally embarrassed.

          

          EXT. MINI-MART. AFTERNOON.


          
          Abra and Petruchio laugh contemptuously and move to their

          CAR:

          
          FOLLOW: The mother and kids exiting the mini-mart.

          
          SUPER FAST SCAN TRACK: To...

          

          INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.


          
          Sampson furiously tries to save face.

          

           SAMPSON
           I will bite my thumb at them; which
           is a disgrace to them if they bear
           it.

          
          Sampson quickly bites his thumb toward Abra's back as he
          gets into the sedan.

          

          INT. SEDAN. AFTERNOON.


          
          Abra's eyes flick to the rear view mirror.

          
          E.C.U.: The rear view mirror; Sampson biting his thumb.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          Suddenly, a blood curdling screech of tires - the sedan,
          rubber burning, reverses full speed toward Sampson and
          Gregory.

          
          The mother in the station wagon brakes to avoid collision -
          a sports car shunts into her vehicle. Mother and children
          scream.

          
          Attendants scatter.

          
          The Capulet car shudders to a halt inches from the truck,
          blocking its path.

          

          INT. BLACK SEDAN. AFTERNOON.


          
          CLOSE ON: A scurry of limbs scrabbling across seats and
          reaching for door handles;

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          Abra hauls Sampson from the truck. Gregory leaps out,
          Petruchio covers him. Abra slams Sampson against the side of
          the vehicle - then, goading him to go for his gun, screams:

          

           ABRA
           Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

          
          Sampson's shaking hand hovers - ready to draw.

          

           SAMPSON
           I do bite my thumb, sir.

          

          INT. STATION WAGON. AFTERNOON.


          
          CUT TO: The panicked mother in the station wagon. She
          motions her children to the floor.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          Customers run for cover.

          
          CLOSE ON: Abra: An hysterical rage; he shrieks:

          

           ABRA
           Do you bite you thumb at us, sir?

          

           SAMPSON
           (sweating, murmurs to Gregory)
           Is the law on our side if I say "Ay"?

          

           GREGORY
           No.

          

          INT. BATHROOM. AFTERNOON.


          
          CLOSE ON: The black cowboy boots, trousers down around them.
          The sound of a toilet flushing.

          
          PAN TO: The next cubicle, the door opens revealing Benvolio.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          CLOSE ON: Sampson, still sweating.

          

           SAMPSON
           No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at
           you, sir - but I do bite my thumb,
           sir!

          
          CUT TO: Gregory; a ridiculous inquiry.

          

           GREGORY
           Do you quarrel, sir?

          
          CUT TO: Abra; a dangerous smile.

          

           ABRA
           Quarrel sir, no sir.

          
          CLOSE ON: Sampson; unconvincing bravado...

          

           SAMPSON
           But if you do, sir, I am for you. I
           serve as good a man as you.

          
          CLOSE ON: Abra; a lethal question.

          

           ABRA
           No better?

          
          CLOSE ON: Sampson, trapped.

          

           SAMPSON
           Well sir...

          

          INT. STATION WAGON. AFTERNOON.


          
          CUT TO: Inside the station wagon. The mother does not
          notice her five year old aiming a toy gun toward the boys.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          CUT TO: Gregory's P.O.V.: Benvolio emerging from the
          bathroom - he whispers maniacally.

          

           GREGORY
           Here comes our kinsman. Say better!

          
          EXTREME CLOSE UP: Sampson; he screams:

          

           SAMPSON

           YES SIR, BETTER!

          
          EXTREME CLOSE UP: Abra demonically roars:

          

           ABRA

           THOU LIEST!

          
          CUT TO: Benvolio. Terror stricken, he sees the boys.

          
          DISTORTED OUT OF CONTROL CLOSE UP: Abra shrieks:

          

           ABRA

           DRAW IF YOU BE MEN!

          
          LIGHTNING CUT: Four hands reaching for guns.

          
          SLAM ZOOM: To Benvolio - weapon outstretched he screams:

          

           BENVOLIO
           Part, fools! You know not what you
           do!

          
          MUSIC STING; A SUPER MARCO SLAM ZOOM along the barrel of
          Benvolio's gun; the engraved gun type reads:

          
          'Sword 9mm series S'

          
          CUT TO: Benvolio. He screams in desperation:

          

           BENVOLIO
           Put up your swords!

          
          Gregory, Sampson, Abra, and Petruchio freeze. A moment -
          then from behind, the unmistakable sound of a gun being
          cocked.

          
          EXTREME CLOSE UP: The black cowboy boots.

          
          CRANE UP: To find the dark cold eyes and feline smile, of
          the wearer of the boots. His name is TYBALT; a cigarette is
          clenched between his teeth and his gun is aimed at Benvolio's
          head.

          

           TYBALT
           What, art thou drawn amoung these
           heartless hinds?
           Turn thee Benvolio.

          
          Benvolio, a choked explanation:

          

           BENVOLIO
           I do but keep the peace.

          
          A mocking smile.

          

           TYBALT
           Peace? I hate the word
           As I hate hell, all Montagues, and...

          
          EXTREME CLOSE UP: Tybalt's finger squeezing the trigger...

          
          Suddenly we hear firing from Tybalt's blind side.

          
          Tybalt redirects his weapon, cracking off a single shot at
          the surprise attacker.

          

          EXT./INT. MINIMART. AFTERNOON.


          
          It is the five year old from the station wagon. The bullet
          smacks the toy gun from the child's hand, shattering the
          wagon's window.

          
          Mother and children scream.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          A panicked Benvolio falls back, accidentally his gun fires -
          the bullet whistles past Tybalt's head.

          
          Tybalt combat rolls, and using a screaming car load of girls
          as cover, returns two quick shots, narrowly missing Benvolio.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          The gas station attendant hits a button and heavy metal
          screens slam down.

          

          EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.


          
          CUT TO: Gregory firing - a bullet rips through Abra's arm.

          
          Petruchio dives for cover; Gregory and Sampson leap into
          Benvolio's truck. Rubber burns as they smash past the
          Capulet vehicle.

          
          CLOSE ON: Tybalt taking aim.

          

          EXT. HIGHWAY - SUPERMARKET. AFTERNOON.


          
          His first shot plugs the fuel tank, the second a tire. Out
          of control and spewing gasoline the Montague truck careens
          across the highway and through the glass front of a
          supermarket.

          
          Gregory and Sampson throw themselves from the truck moments
          before...

          

          EXT. SUPERMARKET. AFTERNOON.


          
          CLOSE ON: The gas tank erupts into an almighty fireball.

          
          The screen fills with flame: the following images combust in
          front of us:

          

          EXT. HIGHWAY - SUPERMARKET - FROM AIR. AFTERNOON.


          
          NEWS CHOPPER P.O.V.: Citizens run in the streets.

          
          Looters raid shops near the supermarket - security guards
          return fire.

          

          INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT.


          
          A table of dark suited men and their wives.

          
          CLOSE ON: The powerful 60 year old face of FULGENCIO CAPULET.
          Seated next to him is his much younger wife GLORIA.

          
          SUDDENLY: Windows explode in a tidal wave of glass. Diners
          take cover.

          
          Capulet moves fearlessly toward the window.

          

           CAPULET
           (to a waiter)
           Give me my long sword!

          

          EXT. STREET. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: The word MONTAGUE fills the screen.

          
          PULL BACK: We see the word is the number plate of a large
          black limousine.

          
          The limousine is stuck in the traffic snarl - bullets bounce
          off its bullet proof windshield.

          

          INT. MONTAGUE'S LIMOUSINE. NIGHT.


          
          TED MONTAGUE, a 60 year old red-faced bulldog of a man,
          bursts from the back of the limousine.

          

           MONTAGUE
           What noise is this!

          
          As Ted draws an enormous pearl handed revolver, CAROLINE,
          his conservatively dressed wife, tries to restrain him.

          

           CAROLINE
           Thou shalt not stir one foot to
           seek a foe!

          

           MONTAGUE
           (shrugging her off)
           Hold me not, let me go!

          

          EXT. STREET. NIGHT.


          
          Crouched behind a truck, Benvolio shakily tries to re-load.

          
          CLOSE ON: The barrel of Tybalt's gun enters frame and
          presses into Benvolio's forehead. Tybalt whispers sweetly.

          

           TYBALT
           Look upon thy death, Benvolio.

          
          CLOSE ON: Tybalt's finger on the trigger. Benvolio screams
          a scream of mortal horror.

          
          SUDDENLY Tybalt is blinded by a burning shaft of light. A
          magnificently powerful helicopter gunship hovers above him.
          A command booms from the chopper's public address system.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           (over PA)
           Rebellious subjects, enemies to
           peace,
           Throw your mistempered weapons to
           the ground.

          

          INT. CHOPPER. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: The steely gray eyes of CAPTAIN PRINCE, chief of
          the Verona Beach Police Department. He lifts the microphone
          and repeats the command.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Throw your mistempered weapons to
           the ground!

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH. NIGHT.


          
          Tybalt looks up to the chopper. Patrol cars screech to a
          halt.

          
          An almighty orchestral chord.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH - MATTE SHOT. NIGHT.


          
          SUPER WIDE SHOT: A trail of devastation winds up through
          grid-locked traffic to the burning supermarket.

          
          In the distance looms an enormous statue of Christ flanked
          by two glass towers. We push toward the towers. One is
          neon-crowned MONTAGUE, the other, CAPULET.

          
          We hear:

          

           VOICE OVER
           Two households, both alike in
           dignity.
           In fair Verona, where we lay our

           SCENE
           From ancient grudge break to new
           mutiny,
           Where civil blood makes civil hands
           unclean.
           From forth the fatal loins of these
           two foes
           A pair of star crossed lovers take
           their life.
           Whose misadventured piteous

           OVERTHROWS
           Doth with their death bury their
           parents strife.

          
          A dark chord.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH SKYLINE. NIGHT.


          
          A swarm of helicopters thunder into frame. We see
          compressed, time-lapsed, images of their journey.

          
          SLAM INTO: A coat of arms that labels a large tower - the
          emblem reads; "Verona Beach Police Department: In God We
          Trust".

          

          HOLD:

          

          INT. CAPTAIN PRINCE'S PRECINCT OFFICE. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Captain Prince's grim features. He eyes Capulet
          and Montague.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Three civil brawls, bred of an airy 

           WORD
           By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
           Have thrice disturbed the quiet of
           our streets.

          
          Capulet's lawyer tries to intervene.

          

           LAWYER
           My noble Prince I can...

          
          Captain Prince overriding, slams the desk.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           If ever you disturb our streets
           again,
           Your lives shall pay the forfeit of
           the peace.

          
          Hold on Captain Prince's determined gaze.

          

          EXT. VERONA STREET. DAWN.


          
          A majestic sunrise; Ted Montague's limousine sulks through
          deserted streets. In the distance, Jesus looks out over the
          now peaceful city.

          

          INT. MONTAGUE'S LIMOUSINE. DAWN.


          
          Ted Montague, his wife Caroline, and nephew Benvolio ride in
          uncomfortable silence.

          
          Caroline finally speaks her anger.

          

           CAROLINE
           O where is Romeo? Saw you him
           today?
           (pointedly to Montague)
           Right glad I am he was not at this
           fray.

          
          Montague snorts derisively and stares out the window.
          Embarrassed, Benvolio tries to be of assistance.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Madam, underneath The Grove of

           SYCAMORE
           So early walking did I see your son.

          
          Ted Montague speaks with contempt.

          

           MONTAGUE
           Many a morning hath he there been

           SEEN
           With tears augmenting the fresh
           morning's dew.

          
          Caroline struggles to contain her emotion.

          

           CAROLINE
           Away from light steals home my
           heavy son
           And private in his chamber pens
           himself,
           Shuts up his windows, locks fair
           daylight out
           And makes himself an artificial
           night.

          
          Montague barks into the car intercom.

          

           MONTAGUE
           Westward from this city side.

          

          EXT. STREET. DAWN.


          
          The limousine U-turns heading west.

          

          EXT. BEACH. DAWN.


          
          To the melancholic strains of Mozart's "Serenade for Winds",
          we see a blond nineteen year old boy sitting alone on an
          empty beach.

          
          CLOSE ON: The boy, ROMEO. Looking out over the ocean he
          sucks on the last of a cigarette and then writes intensely
          in a small worn note book.

          
          We hear his voice over.

          

           ROMEO (V/O)
           Love is a smoke made with the fume
           of sighs;
           Being purged, a fire sparkling in
           lovers' eyes;
           Being vexed, a sea nourished with
           lovers' tears.
           What is it else? A madness most
           discreet,
           A choking gall and a preserving
           sweet.

          

          INT. MONTAGUE'S LIMOUSINE. DAWN.


          
          The limo is parked in a cross street that runs down to the
          beach.

          
          Opposite the limo, young diehard clubbers, faded drag queens
          and street people, hang outside a dilapidated nightclub. A
          broken neon sign reads: "The Grove of Sick Amore."

          
          Ted, Caroline and Benvolio sit watching the silhouette of
          Romeo on the beach.

          

           MONTAGUE
           Black and portentous must this
           humour prove
           Unless good counsel may the cause
           remove.

          

          EXT. BEACH. DAWN.


          
          P.O.V.: From the limousine. Romeo rises and listlessly
          makes his way up the beach - seeing his father's car he
          turns and heads for the path that hugs the beach front.

          

          INT. MONTAGUE'S LIMOUSINE. DAWN.


          

           BENVOLIO
           So please you step aside.
           I'll know his grievance or be much
           denied.

          
          Benvolio clambers out of the limo.

          
          CLOSE ON: Montague, an encouraging smile.

          

           MONTAGUE
           Come Madam. Let's away.

          

          EXT. STREET. DAWN.


          
          The limousine pulls away and Benvolio heads after Romeo. He
          pauses. A deck at the rear of "Sick Amore" sprawls onto the
          beach. At the base of the deck, Benvolio can see Romeo
          squatting in discussion with an old drunk. Benvolio
          approaches with a not very convincing casualness.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Good morrow, cousin.

          
          Romeo turns. Sore, red, unfriendly eyes squint back at
          Benvolio.

          

           ROMEO
           Is the day so young?

          

           BENVOLIO
           But new struck, Coz.

          
          Romeo rises, Benvolio follows.

          

           ROMEO
           Ay me! Sad hours seem long.

          
          Romeo stops as if taking in Benvolio for the first time.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Was that my father that went hence
           so fast?

          

           BENVOLIO

           (GUILTY)
           It was.

          
          Benvolio chases Romeo down the path which divides the beach
          from a string of cheap souvenir shops and sleazy bars.

          

           BENVOLIO
           What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?

          

           ROMEO
           Not having that which having makes
           them short.

          

           BENVOLIO
           In love?

          

           ROMEO
           Out.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Of love?

          

           ROMEO
           Out of her favor where I am in love.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Alas that love, so gentle in his
           view,
           Should be so tyrannical and rough
           in proof!

          

           ROMEO
           Alas that love, whose view...

          
          Romeo is halted by the sight of last night's disturbance
          displayed on a small TV screen in an outdoor bar.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           What fray was here?

          
          Benvolio starts to reply.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)

           (ANGRILY)
           Yet tell me not, for I have heard
           it all.
           Here's much to do with hate, but
           more with love.

          
          Romeo turns the corner away from the beach. He strides
          along the sidewalk raging.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Why then, O brawling love, O loving
           hate,
           O anything, of nothing first
           create!
           O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
           Misshapen chaos of well-seeming
           forms,
           Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold
           fire, sick health,
           Still-waking sleep, that is not
           what it is!

          
          Romeo screams at a huge bouncer who lounges in the doorway
          of a sex club.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           This love feel I, that feel no love
           in this!

          
          The bouncer's hand moves to his gun. Romeo, ignoring him,
          turns on Benvolio. A mocking laughter through tears:

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Dost thou not laugh?

          
          Benvolio, nervously eyeing the bouncer, shepherds Romeo out
          of danger.

          

           BENVOLIO
           No, coz, I rather weep.

          
          Romeo smiles.

          

           ROMEO
           Farewell, my coz.

          
          Romeo, breaking into a jog, leaves Benvolio behind. Benvolio
          pursues him down the street.

          

          EXT. ROMEO'S CAR. DAY.


          
          CLOSE ON: The sleeping face of a fourteen year old boy -

          BALTHASAR.

          
          PULL BACK: Balthasar sleeps on the hood of a magnificent
          silver car.

          
          Three or four kids doze on the sidewalk. As Romeo
          approaches, they jump up and begin vigorously polishing the
          already gleaming car.

          
          Balthasar wakes. He springs off the hood, chases the kids
          away, then, producing a huge bunch of keys, opens the car
          door for Romeo.

          
          Benvolio intercepts Romeo at the car.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Tell me in sadness, who is it that
           you love.

          

           ROMEO
           In sadness, cousin, I do love...a
           woman.

          

           BENVOLIO
           I aimed so near when I supposed you
           loved.

          
          Romeo leans against the car.

          

           ROMEO
           A right good marksman; and she's
           fair I love.

          
          Romeo pulls his shirt down to reveal a small shoulder tattoo.

          
          CLOSE ON: The tattooed word; ROSALINE.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Rosaline!
           (he is impressed)
           A right fair mark, fair coz, is
           soonest hit.

          

           ROMEO
           She'll not be hit with Cupid's
           arrow.
           She hath Dian's wit,
           And in strong proof of chastity
           lives well armed.

          
          Benvolio can't believe it.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Then she hath sworn that she will
           still live chaste?

          

           ROMEO
           She hath; and in that sparing makes
           huge waste.

          
          Benvolio - a plan.

           BENVOLIO
           Be ruled by me; forget to think of
           her.

          

           ROMEO
           O, teach me how I should forget to
           think!

          
          Benvolio indicates one of the working girls already strutting
          the foot path.

          

           BENVOLIO
           By giving liberty unto thine eyes.
           Examine other beauties.

          
          Romeo laughs dismissively. He throws the kids a few coins
          and slides into the drivers seat. Balthasar jumps in back.

          

           ROMEO
           Farewell. Thou canst not teach me
           to forget.

          

           BENVOLIO
           I'll pay that doctrine, or else die
           in debt.

          
          Benvolio leaps into the passenger seat of the moving vehicle.

          

          INT. CAPULET OFFICE. DAY.


          
          An orchestral fanfare. TRACK DOWN: Past monstrous letters
          that read CAPULET and in through a window to discover
          Fulgencio Capulet. He stares out the window toward the
          other tallest building in Verona; the one crested with the
          word MONTAGUE.

          

           CAPULET
           But Montague is bound as well as I,
           In penalty alike;

          
          Capulet turns: on the other side of his desk sits DAVID
          PARIS; a square-jawed young man in a red cashmere sweater.
          Tea has been served from an exquisite silver tea service.

          

           CAPULET (CONT.)
           And 'tis not hard, I think, for me
           so old as we to keep the peace.

          
          Dave smiles obligingly.

          

           DAVE
           Of honorable reckoning are you
           both,
           And pity 'tis you lived at odds so
           long.

          
          An awkward pause: Dave sips tea, then, with a deep breath...

          

           DAVE (CONT.)
           But now, my lord, what say you to
           my suit?

          
          Capulet considers the framed photograph on his desk.

          

           CAPULET
           But saying o'er what I have said

           BEFORE;
           My child is yet a stranger in the

           WORLD;
           Let two more summers wither in
           their pride,
           Ere we may think her ripe to be a
           bride.

          
          Dave is politely insistent.

          

           DAVE
           Younger than she are happy mothers
           made.

          

           CAPULET
           (checking him hard)
           And too soon marred are those so
           early made.
           Earth hath swallowed all my hopes
           but she;
           She is the hopeful lady of my earth.

          
          Capulet rounds the desk and places a fatherly hand on Dave's
          shoulder.

          

           CAPULET (CONT.)
           But woo her, gentle Paris, get her
           heart.
           My will to her consent is but a
           part,
           And she agreed, within her scope of

           CHOICE
           Lies my consent and fair according
           voice.
           This night I hold an old Accustomed
           feast.

          
          Capulet leans close.

          

           CAPULET (CONT.)
           At my poor house, look to behold
           this night,
           Fresh female buds that make dark
           heaven light.
           Hear all; all see,
           And like her most whose merit most
           shall be.

          
          Capulet smiles knowingly. Dave seems encouraged.

          

           CAPULET (CONT.)
           (a hearty slap)
           Come go with me!

          
          Capulet excitedly ushers Dave from the office.

          

          INT. POOL HALL. DAY.


          
          Dim, smoke filled. Benvolio and Romeo play pool.

          

           BENVOLIO
           (chalking his cue)
           Take thou some new infection to thy
           eye.

          
          He lines up the six ball top pocket.

          

           BENVOLIO (CONT.)
           And the rank poison of the old will
           die.

          
          A hopeless shot that slams the eight ball toward the side
          pocket. Romeo stops it with his hand and hurls it against
          the other balls.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

          
          Romeo sinks the other balls with his hands.

          

           ROMEO
           Not mad, but bound more than a
           madman is;
           Shut up in prison, kept without my
           food,

          
          Romeo stalks away from the table.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Whipped and tormented.

          
          He stops at the gun check, rummaging in his pocket.

          

           ROMEO
           Good day, good fellow.

          
          A crusty old man looks up from the small television. His
          entire face a tattooed shooting target, the bullseye between
          his eyes.

          
          The old man points to the sign that reads: "No ticket no
          gun." Romeo finally produces a ticket. Crusty the Target
          goes out back. Romeo's attention is caught by the television.

          

          INT. T.V. STUDIO SET. DAY


          

          CUT TO: TELEVISION.

          
          An ostentatious woman and her over groomed partner Rich,
          hosts what looks to be a kind of Entertainment Tonight show.
          The graphic behind them reads "Solemnity Nights" with Susan
          Santandiago and Rich Ranchidis.

          
          Susan speaks conspiratorially to camera.

          

           SUSAN
           Now I'll tell you without asking.
           The great
           Rich Capulet, holds an old
           accustomed feast;

          
          Rich chimes in:

          

           RICH
           A fair Assembly.

          

           SUSAN
           I Pray you sir can you read?

          
          A list of names begins to scroll across the screen. Rich
          reads them off.

          

           RICH
           Signor Placentio and his wife and
           daughters,
           Signor Martino, the Lady Widow
           Of Utruvio and her lovely nieces,
           Rosaline and Livia...

          

          INT. POOL HALL. DAY.


          
          CUT TO: Benvolio, he leans into Romeo.

          

           BENVOLIO
           At this same ancient feast of

           CAPULET'S
           Sups the fair Rosaline; whom thou
           so loves,
           With all the admired beauties of
           Verona.
           Go thither, and with unattained eye
           Compare her face with some that I
           shall show,
           And I will make thee think thy swan
           a crow.

          

           ROMEO
           One fairer than my love?

          
          Crusty returns. He hands the boys their guns.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           The all-seeing sun Ne'er saw her
           match since first the world begun.

          

          CUT TO: TELEVISION.

          

           SUSAN
           If you be not of the house of
           Montagues,
           Come and crush a cup of wine!

          

           RICH
           Rest you merry!

          
          CUT TO: Romeo, he considers.

          

           ROMEO
           I'll go along, no such sight to be
           shown.
           But to rejoice in splendour of mine
           own.

          
          The boys move off.

          

          PUSH IN ON: THE TELEVISION.

          

          EXT. CAPULET STATE. DAY.


          
          An aerial shot of a magnificent island estate. An Italianate
          wonder of Florentine architecture. Armed guards patrol the
          grounds. The telecaption reads "Capulet Mansion."

          
          The file tape loses its television quality. We sweep down
          through manicured gardens, where workers prepare decorations
          for tonight's celebrations, and into the house. The music
          darkens and we hear the desperate calling of a girl's name.

          

           VOICE OVER

           J U L I E T !

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION - CORRIDOR. DAY.


          
          CUT TO: A long deserted corridor.

          

           VOICE OVER

           J U L I E T !

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION - DRAWING ROOM. DAY.


          
          CUT TO: An echoey Chinoiserie style drawing room.

          

           VOICE OVER

           J U L I E T !

          

          INT. BATHROOM. DAY.


          
          CLOSE ON: The still, serene, submerged features of a
          beautiful young girl. Dark floating hair gently frames the
          face. Heavy liquid eyes stare up through the water.

          
          We hear, though faintly, the calling:

          

           VOICE OVER

           J U L I E T !

          
          With a rush JULIET surfaces. As she gulps air, we realise
          that she is in fact, in a bath.

          
          We hear the calling loudly again.

          

           VOICE OVER

           J U L I E T !

          
          Juliet listens. For a moment she is very still, then she
          closes her eyes and slides back beneath the surface of the
          water.

          

          INT. ENTRANCE HALL CAPULET MANSION. DAY.


          
          A Gothic, unfriendly environment heavy with religious
          iconography. The entrance hall is crowded with workers and
          servants preparing for tonight's party.

          
          Gloria Capulet fiddles with a short black wig in the hallway
          mirror. She is attired in full Cleopatra costume.

          
          Dissatisfied with the wig, she rips it from her head and
          calls maniacally.

          

           GLORIA

           J U L I E T !

          
          Gloria is met by the NURSE, a fat, grandmotherly Hispanic
          woman.

          

           GLORIA (CONT.)
           Nurse, where's my daughter? Call
           her forth to me.

          

           NURSE
           I bade her come. God forbid!
           Where's this girl?
           Juliet!

          
          CUT TO: The top of the stairs. As if from nowhere, Juliet
          has appeared. She wears a bathrobe and her hair is wet.

          

           JULIET

           (COOLLY)
           Madam, I am here. What is you will.

          
          Gloria, startled, sweeps up the stairs and shuffles her
          daughter toward a doorway.

          

           GLORIA
           Nurse, give leave awhile, we must
           talk in secret.

          

          INT. GLORIA'S DRESSING ROOM. DAY.


          
          Gloria shepherds Juliet into her opulent dressing room and
          closes the door. She circles with nervous vexation searching
          for words, stops, then suddenly opens the door and yells out
          to the Nurse.

          

           GLORIA (CONT.)
           Nurse, come back again.
           I have remembered me, thou's hear
           our counsel.

          
          The Nurse enters. Gloria, still refusing eye contact,
          checks her appearance once more in the mirror. She takes a
          hairbrush and, feigning pleasantness, intensely brushes her
          hair.

          

           GLORIA (CONT.)
           Nurse, thou knowest my daughter's
           of a pretty age.

          

           NURSE
           (to Juliet)
           Thou wast the prettiest babe that
           e'er I nursed.

          
          The hair brush clatters onto the dresser. A moment of tense
          silence. Gloria grips herself and pours a sherry.

          
          Back still turned, she speaks to her daughter.

          

           GLORIA
           By my count, I was your mother much
           upon these years
           That you are now a maid.

          
          A nembutal twists like a pin in the corner of Gloria's mouth.
          She slugs it down with the sherry and turns abruptly to face
          Juliet.

          

           GLORIA (CONT.)
           Thus then in brief, the valiant
           Paris seeks you for his love.

          
          CUT TO: Juliet; an uncomprehending stare.

          
          The Nurse, caught off guard, tries to buoy the situation.

          

           NURSE
           A man, young lady! Lady, such a

           MAN
           As all the world - why, he's a man
           of wax.

          
          The medication takes immediate effect upon Gloria. She
          joins Juliet on the couch and coos in Paris's favour.

          

           GLORIA
           Verona's summer hath not such a
           flower.

          

           NURSE
           Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a
           very flower.

          

           GLORIA
           This night you shall behold him at
           our feast;
           Read o'er the volume of young
           Paris' face
           And find delight writ there with
           beauty's pen.
           This precious book of love, this
           unbound lover,
           To beautify him only lacks a cover.
           So shall you share all that he doth
           possess,
           By having him, making yourself no
           less.

          
          Gloria probes Juliet's thoughts.

          

           GLORIA
           Can you like of Paris' love?

          
          Juliet, adept at negotiating her mother's strange moods,
          chooses her words precisely.

          

           JULIET
           I'll look to like, if looking
           liking move,
           But no more deep will I endart mine
           eye,
           Than your consent gives strength to
           make it fly.

          
          PETER the chauffeur enters.

          

           PETER
           Madam. The guests are come.

          

           GLORIA
           (checks the mirror)
           We follow thee.

          
          She exits, Nurse in tow.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet stares out the windows and across the water.

          
          Suddenly the Nurse's face leers into shot. She whispers
          enthusiastically into Juliet's ear.

          

           NURSE
           Go girl, seek happy nights to happy
           days.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet's face.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION. DAY/NIGHT.


          
          JUMP CUT: Aerial shot of Capulet Mansion. We time lapse
          from late afternoon to night; fairy lights illuminate,
          guests appear, music swells, and a single incandescent
          flare, explodes pink against the inky sky.

          

          EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo: his face glows pink. He is sitting on the
          grubby shoreline of Verona Bay dressed as a boy King Arthur,
          with fake chain mail and sword.

          
          Romeo watches the dying flare sink into the bay. The sound
          of the party drifts across the water. Balthasar, dressed as
          Frankenstein's monster, touches a lighter to a large bong
          and Romeo inhales smoke.

          
          Behind them, Benvolio, drunk and dressed as a pizza, is
          yelling at Gregory, who, dressed as a Viking, is trying to
          cut slices off his pizza costume. Sampson, also dressed as
          a Viking, sits in the back of a car. One arm is bandaged
          and he swigs from a bottle.

          
          Suddenly the darkness is slashed by headlights. A reckless
          sports car speeds toward the boys. Stereo screaming, the
          car skids to a halt.

          
          CLOSE ON: Music blares from the sound system. A silver
          stilettoed foot emerges from the car and plants itself
          firmly in the dirt.

          
          CUT TO: The boys, eyes wide with amazement.

          
          CUT TO: Another stiletto follows the first. Guitar groans.

          
          PAN: Slowly up a shapely pair of black stockinged legs, past
          a hint of garter belt to a black sequined mini-skirt and up
          over a muscular dark skinned stomach and tiny sequined bra
          top, to discover: the 21 year old male, African American
          face of MERCUTIO.

          
          CUT TO: The boys. Recovering from the initial shock, they
          laugh and cat-call raucously.

          
          CUT TO: Mercutio. He roughly jams a short black wig onto
          his head and yells above the music.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Strike drum!

          
          Mercutio magically produces invitations from somewhere
          within his mini-skirt and dances down the beach to the boys.

          
          Aggressively bumping and grinding, Mercutio distributes the
          invitations. Reaching Romeo, he declares:

          

           MERCUTIO
           We'll on without apology.

          
          Romeo lets the invitation fall to the sand.

          

           ROMEO
           I am not for this ambling.
           Being but heavy, I will bear the
           light.

          
          Romeo pulls on the bong once more.

          
          Suddenly, Mercutio is upon Romeo. Hauling him to his feet,
          he waltzes him through the sand.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you
           dance.

          
          Romeo pushes Mercutio away.

          

           ROMEO
           Not I, believe me. You have
           dancing shoes
           With nimble soles. I have a soul
           of lead.

          
          Mercutio in mock sympathy.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Too great oppression for a tender
           thing.

          

           ROMEO
           Is love a tender thing? It is too
           rough, too rude, too boisterous,
           and it pricks like thorn.

          
          Romeo lies staring up at the stars.

          

           MERCUTIO
           If love be rough with you, be rough
           with love.

          
          Mercutio jumps on Romeo.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Prick love for pricking, and you
           beat love down.

          
          Romeo fights Mercutio off.

          

           ROMEO
           Under love's heavy burden do I sink!

          
          CUT TO: Benvolio, impatiently honking the horn.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Every man betake him to his legs!

          
          Mercutio heads Romeo toward the car.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Come, we burn daylight, ho!

          
          Romeo pulls away.

          

           ROMEO
           But 'tis no wit to go.

          
          Mercutio turns, exasperated.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Why, may one ask?

          

           ROMEO
           I dreamt a dream tonight.

          

           MERCUTIO
           And so did I.

          

           ROMEO
           Well, what was yours?

          

           MERCUTIO
           That dreamers often lie.

          

           ROMEO
           In bed asleep, while they do dream
           things true.

          
          Mercutio produces a tiny gold pill case.

          

           MERCUTIO
           O, then I see Queen Mab hath been
           with you.
           She is the fairies' midwife, and
           she comes
           In shape no bigger than an agate

           STONE
           On the forefinger of an alderman,
           Drawn with a team of little atomies
           Over men's noses as they lie asleep.

          
          Tantalisingly, he passes the case beneath Romeo's nose.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
           Her wagoner a small gray-coated gnat.

          
          With a conjurer's dexterity Mercutio extracts a small, gray
          pill.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           And in this state she gallops night
           by night
           Through lovers' brains, and then
           they dream of love;

          
          He palms the pills. It reappears from behind Romeo's ear.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           O'er lawyers' fingers who straight
           dream on fees;
           O'er ladies' lips, who straight on
           kisses dream,
           Which oft the angry Mab with
           blisters plagues.
           Because their breaths with
           sweetmeats tainted are.

          
          The pill box glints in the moonlight.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Sometime she driveth o'er a
           soldier's neck;
           And then dreams he of cutting
           foreign throats.
           And being thus frighted, swears a
           prayer or two
           And sleeps again.

          
          Mercutio now intensely angry:

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           This is that very Mab
           That plaits the manes of horses in
           the night
           And bakes the elf-locks in foul
           sluttish hairs

          
          He screams into the night.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           This is the hag, when maids lie on
           their backs,
           That presses them and learns them
           first to bear,
           Making them women of good carriage.
           This is she, this is she...

          
          CLOSE ON: Mercutio. He breaks off. There is a strange
          stillness amongst the group. Romeo goes to his friend.

          

           ROMEO
           Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace.
           Thou talkest of nothing.

          
          Mercutio meets Romeo's gaze.

          

           MERCUTIO
           True, I talk of dreams;
           Which are the children of an idle
           brain,
           Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.
           Which is as thin of substance as
           the air
           And more inconstant than the wind,
           who woos
           Even now the frozen bosom of the

           NORTH
           And, being angered, puffs away from

           THENCE
           Turning his attention to the dew-
           dropping south.

          
          CUT TO: Benvolio in the car. The alcohol has caught up with
          him and he looks a little queasy.

          

           BENVOLIO
           This wind you talk of blows us from

           OURSELVES:
           Supper is done and we shall come
           too late.

          
          Romeo looks toward the distant city.

          

           ROMEO
           I fear, too early, for my mind

           MISGIVES
           Some consequence yet hanging in the

           STARS
           Shall bitterly begin his fearful

           DATE
           With this night's revels, and
           expire the term
           Of a despised life closed in my
           breast,
           By some vile forfeit of untimely
           death.

          
          PAUSE: The water turns golden as fireworks explode across
          the bay. Romeo smiles.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           But he that hath the steerage of my

           COURSE
           Direct my sail!

          
          He takes the pill and drops it into his mouth.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           On, lusty gentlemen!

          
          With the rush of a mind altering cocktail, we ZOOM IN on
          Romeo's eyes; they shimmer with the shooting star reflection
          of exploding fireworks - a bending Eastern chord, we launch
          into Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', sung by the vocalist from
          Soundgarden with orchestration by 'Deconstruction' and sitar
          by Ravi Shankar.

          

          EXT. MERCUTIO'S CAR - ON FREEWAY. NIGHT.


          
          PULL OUT: From Romeo's eyes. He is lying in the passenger
          seat of Mercutio's convertible as it rockets along the
          freeway. The camera is directly above Romeo. He stares up
          at the fireworks that reflect in the windshield. The car
          and freeway begin to rotate and the camera follows. We feel
          that the car is now travelling upside-down. The camera
          sways through a brilliant explosion of fireworks that fill
          the screen with a zillion pixilating, colored dots of fire.

          

          INT. CAPULET'S MANSION - BALLROOM. NIGHT.


          
          PULL OUT: To discover the glittering dots of fire refracting
          from the sparkling domed roof of the magnificently ornate
          Capulet Ballroom. The camera swoops down over bizarrely
          costumed revellers cavorting to a driving Latin big band.
          The camera partners with a drugged Mercutio and Benvolio who
          shamelessly caper with each other in a mock antic adagio.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo gazing blankly at the dance floor.

          
          CUT TO: Mercutio. He sweeps up a thirty-something
          sophisticate and twirls her in Romeo's direction.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Everyman betake him to his legs!

          
          Romeo moves off through the crowd.

          
          CUT TO: ROMEO'S P.O.V.: Contorted images of costumed guests
          eat, drink and laugh in a grotesque collision of Yves Saint
          Laurent cocktail party and Bacchanalian romp.

          
          Suddenly a large arm coils around Romeo's neck.

          
          DISTORTED EXTREME CLOSE UP: A seriously intoxicated Fulgencio
          Capulet; his puffy red face squeezes against Romeo's.

          

           CAPULET
           Ah, I have seen the day that I

           COULD
           Tell a whispering tale in a fair
           ladies ear.
           Such as would please.

          
          Capulet screams above the music:

          

           CAPULET (CONT.)
           Come musicians play!

          
          Blood drums in Romeo's ears. Breaking free from Capulet's
          grasp as he pushes through the crowd toward the bathroom.

          

          INT. BATHROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Silent, underwater shot. Romeo's tranquil features submerged
          in a basin of water.

          

          BEAT.

          
          With a gasp, Romeo rises. A moment. His breathing calms.
          Then, smoothing water into his hair, he gazes into the
          bathroom mirror. He turns:

          
          The entire wall opposite the mirror, is a magnificent salt-
          water fish tank.

          
          Romeo, drawn by it's submarine beauty, leans against the
          fish tank. Applause echoes faintly through the bathroom
          speakers.

          

          INT. BALLROOM. NIGHT.


          
          As the applause dies, a dark-haired Latina Diva takes the
          spotlight. The band ease into the opening bars of a love
          ballad.

          

          INT. BATHROOM. NIGHT.


          
          As the music swells, Romeo watches a moustached catfish
          glide past a medieval castle.

          
          Suddenly, Romeo pulls away. Peering back at him through the
          castle is a pair of exquisitely beautiful angelic eyes.

          
          The Diva's first pure, achingly beautiful notes soar.

          
          Confused, Romeo looks again. There is no mistake - it is a
          girl. Through a shimmering curtain of ribbon weed, two dark
          wide eyes, a childish nose and sumptuous full lips.

          
          Romeo pushes his face closer to the glass. The other face
          snaps abruptly away.

          

          INT. POWDER ROOM. NIGHT.


          
          CUT TO: Juliet, dressed as an angel, on the other side of
          the tank. We now realise that the girls' powder room and
          the boys' bathroom are divided by this watery wonder world.

          
          Juliet warily moves closer to the glass.

          

          INT. BATHROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo leans his face against the glass. The love ballad
          builds.

          
          SLOW TRACK: From Romeo's profile, in through the water, and...

          

          INT. POWDER ROOM. NIGHT.


          
          ...out the other side, to find Juliet in profile, peering
          into the tank.

          

          INT. BATHROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo presses his nose lightly against the glass.

          

          INT. POWDER ROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Juliet; a tiny smile.

          
          Suddenly, CRASH! The door slams open. Juliet turns,
          startled. It is the Nurse.

          

           NURSE
           Juliet, your mother calls.

          
          The Nurse bustles Juliet out the door. Juliet looks over
          her shoulder at the mystery boy.

          

          INT. BALLROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo, now without his mask, slams out of the bathroom -
          Juliet and the Nurse have disappeared into the crowd.

          
          CUT TO: Juliet being dragged along by the Nurse. She
          glances back toward the mystery boy, but he is gone.

          
          Juliet and the Nurse rejoin Dave Paris, who is dressed as an
          astronaut, and Gloria, at the side of the dance floor.

          
          Dave, irresistible smile, extends his hand to Juliet.

          

           DAVE
           Will you now deny to dance?

          
          Juliet looks to Dave, desperately searching for a reason to
          decline. Gloria, brushing aside her silly daughter's
          protests, slugs the last of her champagne and corrals them
          onto the dance floor.

          

           GLORIA
           (whispering to Juliet)
           A man, young lady, such a man.

          
          As Juliet is dragged onto the floor her eyes furtively
          search for the boy.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo in the crowd. Desperate to find the girl, he
          roughly shunts aside a reveller dressed as Lucifer, Prince
          of Darkness.

          
          HOLD ON: Lucifer. He removes his mask: it is Tybalt. He
          turns to Abra, who's dressed as a demon.

          

           TYBALT
           What, dares the slave come hither
           to fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
           Now by the stock and honor of my

           KIN
           To strike him dead I hold it not a
           sin.

          
          Tybalt moves off aggressively, but is halted as Capulet
          slams a hand into his chest.

          

           CAPULET
           Why how now kinsman, wherefore
           storm you so?

          

           TYBALT
           Uncle, this is that villain Romeo.
           A Montague, our foe.

          
          Capulet peers across the ballroom.

          

           CAPULET
           Young Romeo is it?

          

           TYBALT
           'Tis he.

          

           CAPULET
           Content thee gentle coz, let him
           alone.
           I would not for the wealth of all
           this town
           Here in my house do him
           disparagement.
           Therefore be patient; take no note
           of him.

          
          Tybalt can't believe it.

          

           TYBALT
           I'll not endure him.

          
          CLOSE ON: Capulet, exploding with rage.

           CAPULET
           He shall be endured!
           (slapping Tybalt viciously)
           What, goodman boy! I say he shall!
           Go to.

          
          Capulet violently shoves Tybalt to the ground.

          

           CAPULET
           You'll make a mutiny among my guests!

          
          A middle aged couple look on shocked - Capulet waves to them

          FESTIVELY:

          

           CAPULET
           What? Cheerly my hearts!

          
          Capulet snorts at Tybalt in disgust.

          

           CAPULET
           You'll not endure him! Am I the
           master here or you? Go to.

          
          Smoothing his hair into place, Capulet turns back into the
          ballroom.

          
          CLOSE ON: Tybalt choking back tears of rage.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo moving through the crowd. For a moment the
          crush clears and he spies the Angel on the dance floor.

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo whispers:

          

           ROMEO
           Did my heart love till now?
           Forswear it, sight.
           For I ne'er saw true beauty till
           this night.

          
          Romeo begins to circumnavigate the dance floor in an attempt
          to get closer to Juliet.

          
          CUT TO: Dave slow dancing with Juliet.

          
          Juliet's eyes search the room for the boy.

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet.

          
          Their eyes connect.

          
          Juliet looks quickly back to Dave who, oblivious, returns
          his most devastating smile.

          
          CUT TO: The songstress, her voice soars.

          
          CUT TO: Juliet. Unable to look away from the boy, she
          stares over Dave's shoulder.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo. Ignoring the danger, he continues to move
          toward the Angel.

          
          With the Diva's spiralling final notes, the ballad concludes.

          
          A complete black out. As the crowd break into wild applause,
          Juliet's eyes search the darkness, but the boy is gone.

          
          The crowd cheers and screams its applause. An avalanche of
          balloons, tinsel and confetti rains down from the roof;
          swathes of red silk drop from the ceiling and the space is
          transformed.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet, searching for the boy.

          
          Suddenly: A gasp, Juliet's eyes widen, shocked.

          
          In the dark, a hand has shot out from the drape curtaining
          off the stage and clasped hers. Juliet barely dares breathe.

          
          She glances furtively to Dave Paris - he watches the stage.

          
          Slowly Juliet turns toward the hand; there through a break
          in the curtain she can see eye, cheek and lips of the
          mystery boy. As the Diva reprises the chorus, Romeo gently
          pulls Juliet behind the curtain.

          

          INT. BEHIND CURTAIN. NIGHT.


          
          Concealed from the party by the red velvet drape, hands
          still clasped, the teenagers are so close their bodies
          almost touch.

          

           ROMEO
           If I profane with my unworthiest

           HAND
           This holy shrine, the gentle sin is
           this.
           My lips, two blushing pilgrims,
           ready stand
           To smooth that rough touch with a
           tender kiss.

          
          Romeo moves his lips toward Juliet's. She stops him.

          

           JULIET
           Good pilgrim, you do wrong your
           hand too much,
           Which mannerly devotion shows in
           this.
           For saints have hands that pilgrim's
           hands do touch,
           And palm to palm is holy palmers'
           kiss.

          

           ROMEO
           Have not saints lips, and holy
           palmers too?

          

           JULIET
           (a gentle scolding)
           Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must
           use in prayer.

          

           ROMEO
           O, then, dear saint, let lips do
           what hands do,
           They pray: grant thou, lest faith
           turn to despair.

          

           JULIET
           Saints do not move, though grant
           for prayer's sake.

          

           ROMEO
           Then move not while my prayer's
           effect I take.

          
          He kisses her.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Thus from my lips, by thine my sin
           is purged.

          

           JULIET
           Then have my lips the sin that they
           have took.

          

           ROMEO
           Sin from my lips? O trespass
           sweetly urged!
           Give me my sin again.

          
          He kisses her.

          

           JULIET
           You kiss by th' book.

          
          They kiss again.

          
          Suddenly a harsh light falls across the entwined couple.
          They break apart - Nurse has pulled open the curtain and
          stands eyeing them severely.

          

           NURSE
           Madam, your mother craves a word
           with you.

          
          We see that the party is breaking up. But for groups of
          die-hard revellers, the room is nearly empty.

          

           NURSE (CONT.)
           Come, let's away.

          
          She takes firm control of her charge.

          
          Juliet furtively motions for the startled Romeo not to
          follow as he trails them across the room.

          
          CUT TO: ROMEO'S P.O.V.: The Nurse and Juliet reach the door,
          but instead of leaving, they turn and ascend the staircase
          that arcs around to the mezzanine level. They join a vexed
          Gloria Capulet who clings to a patient Dave Paris.

          
          Inaudible words are exchanged. Juliet flickers her eyes
          nervously to Romeo.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo. He halts at the foot of the stairs unsure.

          
          CUT TO: Gloria. Catching Juliet's interest in the boy, she
          indicates to her daughter to 'COME ALONG'.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo; a dawning realisation.

          

           ROMEO
           (under his breath)
           Is she a Capulet?

          
          CUT TO: Juliet. She stops and turns back.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo, comprehending the reality of who she is.

          
          CUT TO: Juliet. The Nurse whispers in her ear.

          

           NURSE
           His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
           The only son of your great enemy.

          
          An orchestral treatment of Joy Division's "Love will tear us
          Apart" swells;

          
          HOLD ON: Juliet. Like a cloud passing across the sun, a
          dark coldness descends upon her.

          
          CUT TO: Mercutio. He throws himself upon the shell shocked
          Romeo.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Away, begone, the sport is at its
           best.

          
          Mercutio shuttles Romeo toward the door.

          

           ROMEO
           Ay so I fear,

          
          A covert glance over his shoulder.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           The more is my unrest.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION. NIGHT.


          
          Mercutio bundles Romeo through the front door and down the
          stairs to the waiting getaway car.

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION - STAIRS ALCOVE WINDOW - NIGHT.


          
          CUT TO: Juliet. Manoeuvred by the Nurse up the stairs, she
          breaks away and rushes to a tiny, windowed alcove.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - MAIN ENTRANCE. NIGHT.


          
          CUT TO: Mercutio's convertible and its noisy confederacy
          joining the line of departing limos.

          
          A huge sign combusts into blinding fireworks that write in
          giant words "CAPULET."

          
          As the convertible passes beneath the blazing words, Romeo
          turns. Through a deluge of falling sparks, he glimpses the
          mystery girl high up in the tower.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - WINDOW. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet leaning out of the tower window. Brilliant
          sparkles light in her eyes.

          
          PUSH IN: We hear her secret whisper:

          

           JULIET
           My only love, sprung from my only
           hate.
           Too early seen unknown, and known
           too late.
           Prodigious birth of love it is to me

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - MAIN ENTRANCE DRIVE. NIGHT.


          
          CUT TO: JULIET'S P.O.V.: In slow motion Romeo, through the
          falling curtain of fiery embers.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)(V/O)
           That I must love a loathed enemy.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - WINDOW. NIGHT.


          
          Warm wind blows the smoke from the expended fireworks.
          Juliet closes the window and leans against the glass.

          
          CRANE DOWN: The side of the building past revellers who
          don't know when to leave. Standing in the front doorway is
          someone else who cannot take their eyes off the departing
          Romeo. It is Tybalt. The music darkens as we push through
          the smoky wind.

          

           TYBALT
           I will withdraw. But this intrusion
           shall,
           Now seeming sweet, convert to
           bitterest gall.

          

          INT. MERCUTIO'S CAR. NIGHT.


          
          Caught in the jam of departing vehicles, Mercutio's car
          crawls along the bridge that links Capulet island with the
          mainland. The boys sing along raucously with the radio.

          

           BOYS
           "I am a pretty piece of flesh,
           I am a pretty piece of flesh..."

          
          PUSH IN: On Romeo, he whispers:

          

           ROMEO
           Can I go forward when my heart is
           here?
           Turn back, dull earth, and find thy
           centre out.

          
          Romeo leaps from the car. Benvolio yells after him.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Romeo! Cousin Romeo! Romeo!

          

          EXT. CAPULET BRIDGE. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo runs back along the bridge toward the estate. At the
          gates, armed guards supervise the exodus of vehicles. Romeo
          uses the traffic to shield himself from view.

          
          Romeo leaps from the bridge and into the shadows at the base
          of the high stone wall that borders the compound.

          

          EXT. CAPULET BRIDGE. NIGHT.


          
          Mercutio's car prowls back along the bridge. The last
          guests have departed and the gates are swinging shut. The
          convertible halts in front of them.

          

           BENVOLIO
           He ran this way. Call, good
           Mercutio.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Nay, I'll conjure too.

          
          Mercutio leaps from the car. He postures like a magician in
          a low-budget variety special. The boys cheer him on.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion!
           Lover!
           I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright
           eyes,
           By her high forehead and her
           scarlet lip,
           By her fine foot, straight leg, and
           quivering thigh.
           And the demesnes that there adjacent
           lie,
           That in thy likeness thou appear to
           us!

          

          EXT. CAPULET WALL. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo's fake chain mail shirt tangled in the
          barbed wire at the top of the wall.

          
          PAN DOWN: Romeo, now on the other side of the wall, pulls up
          his undershirt and gingerly inspects the cuts inflicted by
          the wire.

          
          Mercutio's cavorting echoes from the bridge. Romeo smiles
          ironically.

          

           ROMEO
           He jests at scars that never felt a
           wound.

          
          Romeo moves off through the darkened grounds of Capulet
          estate.

          

          EXT. CAPULET BRIDGE. NIGHT.


          
          The boys laugh hysterically as Mercutio staggers around the
          bridge in imitation of a love sick fool.

          

           MERCUTIO
           O Romeo, that she were, O that she

           WERE
           An open-arse and thou a poperin pear!

          
          The hilarity is abruptly arrested as a security spotlight
          blazes to life, pinning Mercutio in its beam. The sound of
          automatic weapons cocking pierces the night.

          
          CLOSE ON: Mercutio. He's brave but not stupid. He gets
          back into the car.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Come, shall we go?

          

          EXT. THE BACK OF CAPULET MANSION. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: A pair of stone cherubs on top of the retaining
          wall of a terraced garden. Romeo's face appears between them.

          
          Romeo hauls himself up onto the wall. Below is a Greco-
          Roman style pool area. To the right the darkened rear wing
          of Capulet Mansion. Suddenly the back of the house explodes
          with light. Romeo takes cover.

          

           ROMEO
           But soft, what light through yonder
           window breaks?

          
          Romeo's question is answered as out onto the verandah comes
          Juliet. She is still clad in her angel robe, but without
          the halo and wings. She slowly descends to pool level.

          

           ROMEO
           It is the East, and Juliet is the
           sun!
           Arise, fair sun, and kill the
           envious moon,
           Who is already sick and pale with

           GRIEF
           That thou her maid art far more
           fair than she.
           Be not her maid, since she is
           envious.
           Her vestal livery is but sick and
           green,
           And none but fools do wear it.
          Juliet stands on the top step of the pool stairs. She is
          directly below Romeo as he whispers.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Cast it off!

          
          Juliet sits on the edge of the pool, her legs dangle in the
          water.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           It is my lady. O, it is my love!
           O that she knew she were!

          
          Juliet sighs.

          

           JULIET
           Ay me!

          

           ROMEO

           (WHISPERS)
           She speaks.
           O, speak again, bright angel!

          
          Juliet looks longingly toward the stars.

          

           JULIET
           O Romeo, Romeo! - Whyfore art thou
           Romeo?
           Deny thy father and refuse thy
           name.
           Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn
           my love,
           And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo. Incredulous.

          

           ROMEO
           Shall I hear more, or shall I speak
           at this?

          

           JULIET
           'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
           Thou are thyself, though not a
           Montague.
           What's Montague? It is not hand
           nor foot
           Nor arm nor face nor any other part
           Belonging to a man. O, be some
           other name!
           What's in a name?
           That which we call a rose
           By any other word would smell as
           sweet.
           So Romeo would, were he not Romeo
           called,
           Retain that dear perfection which
           he owes
           Without that title. Romeo, doff
           thy name,
           And for thy name, which is no part
           of thee,
           Take all myself.

          
          Romeo wildly calls:

          

           ROMEO
           I take thee at thy word!
           Call me but love, and I'll be new
           baptised.
           Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

          
          Romeo jumps down from the wall. Juliet screams, and turns,
          toppling backwards. Romeo grabs her hand but her momentum
          overbalances him and they both plunge headlong into the pool.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - POOL - UNDERWATER. NIGHT.


          
          Underwater shot: A slow motion phosphorescent tangle of
          arms, legs and bodies.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - BACK GARDEN. NIGHT.


          
          CUT TO: A security guard. Alerted by the noise he moves
          toward the pool area.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION - POOL GARDEN - NIGHT.


          
          CUT TO: Above water, real time: Romeo and Juliet surface
          spluttering. Juliet thrashes the water in an attempt to get
          distance from her attacker.

          

           JULIET
           What man art thou that, thus
           bescreened in night,
           So stumblest on my counsel?

          
          Romeo: A calming gesture as he tries to tread water.

          

           ROMEO
           By a name I know not how to tell
           thee who I am:
           My name, dear saint, is hateful to

           MYSELF
           Because it is an enemy to thee.
          The ferocious barking of a guard dog arrests the teenagers
          attention. A moment, then they slide beneath the water.

          
          CUT TO: The security guard and dog appearing above the pool
          area.

          
          GUARD'S P.O.V.: The rippling surface of the water.

          
          CUT TO - UNDERWATER SHOT: Romeo and Juliet submerged, hair
          streaming, stare at each other like two beautiful fish.

          
          CUT TO: The guard. He can see noisy caterers cleaning up
          around the other side of the house. Frowning, he returns
          the way he came.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo and Juliet. Gasping for air, they cautiously
          surface. A moment - then Juliet, a small smile.

          

           JULIET
           Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

          

           ROMEO
           Neither, fair maid, if either thee
           dislike.

          
          Juliet looks nervously toward the house. She drags Romeo
          toward a small grotto at the end of the pool.

          

           JULIET
           How cam'st thou hither, tell me,
           and whyfore?
           The garden walls are high and hard
           to climb,
           And the place death, considering
           who thou art.

          

           ROMEO
           (with splashy bravado)
           With love's light wings did I o'er
           perch these walls.
           For stony limits cannot hold love
           out,
           And what love can do, that dares
           love attempt.
           Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop
           to me.

          
          Juliet drags Romeo firmly into the grotto.

          

           JULIET
           (a real fear)
           If they do see thee, they will
           murder thee.

          
          Romeo slowly pulls Juliet toward him.

          

           ROMEO
           I have night's cloak to hide me
           from their eyes.
           And but thou love me, let them find
           me here.
           My life were better ended by their

           HATE
           Than death prorogued, wanting of
           thy love.

          
          The lovers kiss long and deep. Then Juliet, suddenly
          fearful, pushes Romeo away.

          

           JULIET
           Thou knowest the mask of night is
           on my face,
           Else would a maiden blush bepaint
           my cheek,
           For that which thou hast heard me
           speak tonight.
           Fain would I dwell on form - fain,
           fain deny
           What I have spoke. But farewell
           compliment!
           Dost thou love me?

          
          Romeo tries to speak, Juliet silences him.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           I know thou wilt say 'Ay', and I
           will take thy word. Yet, if thou
           swearest,
           Thou mayst prove false. O gentle
           Romeo,
           If thou dost love, pronounce it
           faithfully.
           Or if thou think'st I am too
           quickly won,
           I'll frown, and be perverse, and
           say thee nay,
           So thou wilt woo. But else, not
           for the world.
           In truth, fair Montague, I am too
           fond,
           And therefore thou mayst think my
           'haviour light.
           But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove
           more true
           Than those that have more cunning
           to be strange.

          

           ROMEO
           Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,
           That tips with silver all these
           fruit-tree tops -

          

           JULIET
           O, swear not by the moon, th'
           inconstant moon,
           That monthly changes in her circled
           orb,
           Lest that thy love prove likewise
           variable.

          

           ROMEO
           What shall I swear by?

          

           JULIET
           Do not swear at all.
           Or if thou wilt, swear by thy
           gracious self,
           Which is the god of my idolatry,
           And I'll believe thee.

          
          She touches his cheek. Romeo moves his lips close.

          

           ROMEO
           If my heart's dear love -

          
          Confused, Juliet breaks away.

          

           JULIET
           Well, do not swear. Although I joy
           in thee,
           I have no joy of this contract
           tonight.
           It is too rash, too unadvised, too

           SUDDEN;
           Too like the lightning, which doth
           cease to be
           Ere one can say 'it lightens.'
           Sweet, good night.
           This bud of love, by summer's
           ripening breath,
           May prove a beauteous flower when
           next we meet.
           Good night, good night. As sweet
           repose and rest
           Come to thy heart as that within my
           breast.

          
          She rushes up the stairs - Romeo follows desperately.

          

           ROMEO
           O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

          
          Juliet - a shocked look.

          

           JULIET
           What satisfaction canst thou have
           tonight?

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo.

          

           ROMEO
           The exchange of thy love's faithful
           vow for mine.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet. She runs joyously to Romeo.

          

           JULIET
           I gave thee mind before thou didst
           request it!

          
          Kissing him passionately.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           And yet I would it were to give
           again.

          

           ROMEO
           Wouldst thou withdraw it? For what
           purpose love?

          

           JULIET
           But to be frank and give it thee
           again.

          
          They kiss again. The Nurse calls from inside.

          

           NURSE (O/S)
           Juliet!

          
          Juliet looks to the house.

          

           JULIET

           (BREATHLESSLY)
           Three words, dear Romeo, and good
           night indeed.
           If that thy bent of love be
           honourable.
           Thy purpose marriage, send me word
           tomorrow,
           By one that I'll procure to come to
           thee,
           Where and what time thou wilt
           perform the rite,
           And all my fortunes at thy foot
           I'll lay
           And follow thee my lord throughout
           the world.

          

           NURSE (O/S)
           Madam!

          

           JULIET
           I come, anon - But if thou meanest
           not well,
           I do beseech thee...

          

           NURSE (O/S)
           Madam!

          

           JULIET
           (to Nurse)
           By and by I come!
           To cease thy strife and leave me to
           my grief.
           Tomorrow will I send.

          
          Romeo holds Juliet's gaze.

          

           ROMEO
           So thrive my soul.

          

           NURSE (O/S)
           Madam!

          
          Juliet breaks away.

          

           JULIET
           A thousand times good night!

          
          With a final kiss, Juliet runs inside.

          

           ROMEO
           A thousand times the worse, to want
           thy light.
           Love goes toward love as schoolboys
           from their books;
           But love from love, toward school
           with heavy looks.

          
          Juliet re-appears at the upper balcony.

          

           JULIET
           Romeo! What o'clock tomorrow
           Shall I send to thee?

          

           ROMEO
           By the hour of nine.

          
          Juliet unclasps a delicate silver necklace from around her
          neck.

          

           JULIET
           I will not fail. 'Tis twenty year
           till then.
           Goodnight, goodnight! Parting is
           such sweet sorrow.
           That I shall say goodnight till it
           be morrow.

          
          She lets the necklace fall from her hand. Romeo catches it
          and she is gone.

          

           ROMEO
           Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace
           in thy breast,
           Would I were sleep and peace, so
           sweet to rest.

          

          INT. GREENHOUSE. DAWN.


          
          Morning sunlight filters through the lush foliage of a
          tropical rainforest.

          
          PAN DOWN: As we hear:

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (O/S)
           O mickle is the powerful grace that

           LIES
           In plants, herbs, stones, and their
           true qualities.

          
          We discover the intensely concentrating features of FATHER
          LAURENCE. Fifties, wiry and wearing a priest's collar,
          Laurence delicately makes an incision in the bulb of a small
          purple flowered plant.

          
          A pair of fresh faced ten year old boys look on in wonderment
          as a vivid blue sap oozes from the incision.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Within the infant rind of this weak

           FLOWER
           Poison hath residence, and medicine
           power.

          
          PULL BACK: The Priest carefully gathers the sap into a
          beaker. We discover that we are in a small tropical
          greenhouse.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           (to the boys)
           For this, being smelt, with that
           part cheers each part;
           Being tasted, stays all senses with
           the heart.
          The boys follow the Father as he moves out of the greenhouse
          and into an adjoining work area. The walls are lined with
          bottles of herbs and dried plants and a television flickers
          in the corner.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           For naught so vile on the earth
           doth live,
           But to the earth some special good
           doth give;

          
          With the precision of a chemist, Father Laurence funnels the
          sap into a small bottle and places it in the refrigerator.
          From out of the refrigerator he produces a large jar of
          candy. He eyes the boys sternly.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Nor aught so good but, strained
           from that fair use,
           Revolts from true birth, stumbling
           on abuse.

          
          The boys take their candy and scram.

          
          CUT TO: The muted television. A morning news program shows
          footage of a murder scene cordoned off with police tape. A
          distraught mother is being restrained.

          
          CLOSE ON: The priest contemplating the television.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Two such opposed kings encamp them

           STILL
           In man as well as herbs: grace and
           rude will;
           And where the worser is predominant,
           Full soon the canker death eats up
           that plant.

          
          A feverish knocking breaks the priest's reverie.

          

           ROMEO (O/S)
           Good morrow, father!

          
          Father Laurence snaps off the television and exits the
          workroom.

          

          EXT. WALL. DAWN.


          
          Romeo, dressed in last night's chain mail, pounds desperately
          on a wooden door set into a high stone wall.

          

           ROMEO
           Good morrow, father!

          

          EXT. COURTYARD. DAWN.


          
          From the workroom, Father Laurence enters a courtyard which
          encloses a tranquil tropical garden. He opens a door in the
          wall of the courtyard and smiles as the costumed Romeo
          bursts in.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Benedicite!
           What early tongue so sweet saluteth
           me?

          
          Without pausing, the priest continues through the courtyard
          and toward the church.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Young son, it argues a distempered

           HEAD
           So soon to bid good morrow to thy
           bed.
           Or if not so, then here I hit it
           right -
           Our Romeo hath not been in bed
           tonight.

          
          The priest enters the back of the church.

          

          INT. SACRISTY. DAWN.


          
          Romeo, on fire to tell of his experience, follows the priest
          into the sacristy.

          

           ROMEO
           The last is true. The sweeter rest
           was mine.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           (he stops)
           God pardon sin! Wast thou with
           Rosaline?

          

           ROMEO
           With Rosaline, my ghostly father?
           No.
           I have forgot that name and that
           name's woe.

          
          The Father lays out the cut glass bottles and communion tray
          for mass.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           That's my good son! But where hast
           thou been then?

          
          Unconsciously, Romeo helps the priest prepare. It is clear
          he knows the routine by heart.

          

           ROMEO
           I have been feasting with mine
           enemy,
           Where on a sudden one hath wounded
           me.
           That's by me wounded. Both our

           REMEDIES
           Within they help and holy physic
           lies.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           (buttoning a long
           black cassock)
           Be plain, good son, and homely in
           thy drift.
           Riddling confession finds but
           riddling shrift.

          

           ROMEO
           Then plainly know my heart's dear
           love is set,
           On the fair daughter of rich
           Capulet.
           We met, we wooed, and made exchange
           of vow,
           I'll tell thee as we pass. But
           this I pray,
           That thou consent to marry us today.

          
          CUT TO: The Priest, thunderstruck. The two kids, now
          dressed in red altar-boy robes, enter.

          

           ALTAR BOYS
           Good morrow, Romeo.

          
          The apoplectic priest waves the boys away. They get the
          message and bolt.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Holy Saint Francis! What a change
           is here!
           Is Rosaline, that thou didst love
           so dear,
           So soon foresaken? Young men's
           love then lies
           Not truly in their hearts, but in
           their eyes.

          

           ROMEO
           Thou chid'st me oft for loving
           Rosaline.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           (very angry)
           For doting, not for loving, pupil
           mine.

          

           ROMEO
           I pray thee chide me not. Her I
           love now
           Doth grace for grace and love for
           love allow.
           The other did not so.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           O, she knew well
           Thy love did read by rote, that
           could not spell.

          
          The Father falls into a chair and considers. He looks
          through the sacristy door to where a small children's choir
          has assembled. Their angelic voices soar into the purest of
          hymns.

          

           CHOIR
           How can you just leave me standing
           Alone in a world so cold,
           Maybe I'm just too demanding,
           Maybe I'm just like my father, too
           bold,
           Maybe you're just like my mother,
           She's never satisfied.
           Why do we scream at each other?
           This is what it sounds like when
           doves cry...

          
          We recognise the hymn as "When Doves Cry" by Prince.

          
          PUSH IN: On the Priest; moved, he looks to Romeo.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           But come, young waverer, come, go
           with me.
           In one respect I'll thy assistant
           be.
           For this alliance may so happy

           PROVE
           To turn your households' rancor to
           pure love.

          
          Romeo hurriedly assists the priest with his vestments.

          

           ROMEO
           O, let us hence! I stand on sudden
           haste.

          
          Father Laurence holds Romeo in his powerful gaze.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Wisely and slow. They stumble that
           run fast.

          
          The procession is joined by the two little altar boys and
          the mass begins.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH. DAY.


          
          As the Angelic voices of the choir soar, we see a pay phone
          etched with hyper-real starkness against the white sand,
          green sea and blue sky.

          
          A single leaning palm tree frames the image like a ridiculous
          tourist postcard.

          
          Benvolio speaks on the pay phone. Mercutio, torso naked but
          for his holstered Sports Rapier 9mm, drums his fingers on
          the side of the booth.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Where the devil should this Romeo
           be?
           Came he not home tonight?

          

           BENVOLIO
           (slamming down the phone)
           Not to his father's. I spoke with
           his man.

          
          Mercutio storms off down the beach.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Why, that same pale hard-hearted
           wench, that Rosaline,
           Torments him so that he will sure
           run mad.

          

           BENVOLIO
           (running to keep up)
           Tybalt hath sent a letter to his
           father's house.

          

           MERCUTIO
           (halts abruptly)
           A challenge, on my life.

          
          CLOSE ON: Benvolio, unsure.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Romeo will answer it?

          

           MERCUTIO
           Any man that can write may answer a
           letter.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Nay, he will answer the letter's
           master, how he dares, being dared.

          
          Mercutio clamps Benvolio into a headlock.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Alas, poor Romeo, he is already
           dead!
           Stabbed with a white wench's black
           eye,

          
          He whispers into Benvolio's ear:

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Run through the ear with a love
           song.
           (in disgust)
           And is he a man to encounter Tybalt?

          

           BENVOLIO
           (struggling to break free)
           Why, what is Tybalt?

          

           MERCUTIO
           (releasing him)
           More than Prince of Cats, I can
           tell you.
           O, he's the courageous captain of
           compliments.
           The very butcher of a silk button.

          
          Lightening fast, Mercutio draws his gun. He twirls it in an
          impressive display of gunmanship which ends with the barrel
          between the startled Benvolio's eyes.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           A duellist, a duellist.

          
          Romeo's car pulls into the beach side parking lot. Benvolio
          heads toward it.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo!

          

          EXT. BEACH - PARKING LOT. DAY.


          
          Romeo alights from his car and throws his keys to Balthasar
          who lounges outside the beach side hang. Mercutio saunters
          up the beach with mock nonchalance.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Signor Romeo, Bonjour. There's a
           French salutation to your French
           slop. You gave us the counterfeit
           fairly last night.

          

           ROMEO
           Good morrow to you both. What
           counterfeit did I give you?

          

           MERCUTIO
           The slip, sir, the slip. Can you
           not conceive?

          
          Romeo smiles smugly.

          

           ROMEO
           Pardon, good Mercutio. My business
           was great, and in such a case as
           mine a man may strain courtesy.

          

           MERCUTIO

           (SARCASTICALLY)
           A most courteous exposition.

          

           ROMEO
           Nay I am the very pink of courtesy.

          

           MERCUTIO

           (CAMPLY)
           Pink for flower?

          
          The boys laugh. Romeo feigns anger.

          

           ROMEO
           I will bite thee on the ear for
           that jest!

          
          Mercutio, goading Romeo to follow, backs off down the beach.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Come between us, good Benvolio! My
           wits faint.

          
          Mercutio flicks sand at Romeo, then sprints off down the
          beach. Romeo, laughing, gives chase.

          

           ROMEO
           Switch and spurs, switch and spurs,
           or I'll cry a match.

          

          EXT. BEACH - SHORELINE. DAY.


          
          Romeo is gaining on Mercutio, who runs headlong into the sea.
          With a yell, Romeo dives in after him.

          

          EXT. BEACH - AT SEA. DAY.


          
          Mercutio splashes the laughing Romeo.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Why, is not this better now than
           groaning for love?

          
          Romeo tries to dunk Mercutio.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Now art thou sociable.

          
          Mercutio, evading, heads for shore.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Now art thou Romeo. Now art thou...

          

          EXT. BEACH - SHORELINE. DAY.


          
          Romeo tackles Mercutio on the wet sand. Mercutio falls
          suddenly serious.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)

           (QUIETLY)
           What thou art, by art as well as by
           nature.

          
          A moment between the boys. A shadow falls across them.
          Romeo looks up.

          

           ROMEO
           Here's goodly gear.

          
          Standing above the boys is the Nurse. She wears a
          ridiculous, all red, "Jackie O" style disguise of sunglasses,
          scarf and parasol.

          

           MERCUTIO

           (BEMUSED)
           God ye good e'en fair gentlewoman.

          
          The nurse, ignoring Mercutio, speaks dramatically to Romeo.

          

           NURSE
           I desire some confidence with you.

          
          She turns and walks back to the parking lot where Peter the
          chauffer waits beside the limousine.

          
          Benvolio and the other boys look on curiously.

          

           MERCUTIO
           A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!

          
          But Romeo rises and to the amazement of Mercutio actually
          follows this woman. Mercutio looks questioningly to
          Benvolio, who shrugs.

          

           BENVOLIO
           She will endite him to some supper?

          
          Even more strangely, Romeo gets into the limousine.

          

           MERCUTIO
           (taken by surprise)
           Romeo, will you come to your
           father's?
           We'll to dinner thither.

          

           ROMEO
           (as he closes the door)
           I will follow you.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Farewell, ancient lady. Farewell.

          
          The car pulls away.

          

          EXT. STREET. DAY.


          
          The limousine drives through Verona Beach.

          

          INT. MOVING LIMOUSINE. DAY.


          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo jammed into the corner of the seat. The
          Nurse's face is pressed alarmingly close to his. She speaks
          in cold deadly earnest.

          

           NURSE
           If ye should lead her in a fool's
           paradise, as they say, it were a
           very gross kind of behavior, as
           they say. For the gentlewoman is
           young; and therefore, if you should
           deal double with her, truly it were
           an ill thing and very weak dealing.

          
          BEAT: Romeo chooses his words carefully.

          

           ROMEO
           Bid her to come to confession this
           afternoon,
           And there she shall at Friar
           Laurence's cell
           Be shrived and
           (PUSH IN ON: Romeo)
           married.

          

          INT. JULIET'S BEDROOM. DAY.


          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet's face peering out her bedroom window.

          

           JULIET
           O God she comes!

          

          EXT. CAPULETS MANSION - DRIVEWAY. DAY.


          
          PULL BACK: JULIET'S P.O.V.: The limousine pulls up at the
          front door, the Nurse alights.

          
          Juliet bolts from the room.

          

          INT. LANDING. DAY.


          
          Juliet hurries down the stairs - the Nurse, a way ahead,
          disappears into a doorway.

          

          INT. STAIRWAY. DAY.


          
          Juliet races down a dark stairwell that leads to the bowels
          of the house.

          

          INT. KITCHEN. DAY.


          
          The kitchen, obviously the Nurse's domain, is decorated with
          a mixture of religious iconography and travel posters. Most
          of the posters depict a strange city of decadent, decaying,
          beauty.

          
          Juliet bursts breathlessly into the room.

          

           JULIET
           O honey nurse, what news?

          
          The Nurse, buried up to her ample hips inside the
          refrigerator, does not turn around.

          
          Juliet cries impatiently.

          

           JULIET
           Nurse!

          
          The nurse emerges from the ice box laden with food. Moving
          to the counter she starts to make a sandwich.

          

           NURSE
           I am aweary, give me leave awhile.
           Fie, how my bones ache. What a
           jaunce have I.

          
          Juliet under her breath.

          

           JULIET
           I would thou hadst my bones and I
           thy news.

          
          Juliet goes to the nurse.

          

           JULIET
           Nay come, I pray thee, speak: good;

           GOOD
           Nurse, speak.

          
          Sandwich made, the nurse shuffles over to a corner couch.

          

           NURSE
           Jesu, what haste. Can you not stay
           awhile?
           Can you not see I am out of breath?

          
          Juliet cannot stand the suspense any longer.

          

           JULIET
           How art thou out of breath when
           thou hast breath
           To say to me that thou art out of
           breath!
           Is the news good or bad? Answer to
           that.

          
          The Nurse takes a big bite from her sandwich and answers
          through thoughtful chews.

          

           NURSE
           Well, you have made a simple
           choice.
           You know not how to choose a man.
           Romeo? No, not he.
           Though his face be better than any
           man's, yet his leg excels all men's
           and for a hand and a foot and a
           body, though they be not to be
           talked on, yet they are past
           compare.
           He's not the flower of courtesy,
           but I'll warrant him as gentle as a
           lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve
           God. What, have you dined at home?

          
          Juliet is flabbergasted.

          

           JULIET
           No, no. But all this I did know
           before. What says he of our
           marriage? What of that

          

           NURSE
           Lord how my head aches! What a
           head have I:
           My back -

          
          This is a game that Juliet knows well. She moves behind the
          Nurse and begins massaging her back.

          

           NURSE (CONT.)
           o' t'other side - ah, my back!
           Beshrew your heart for sending me

           ABOUT
           To catch my death with jauncing up
           and down.

          
          With sublime self control, Juliet coo's sweetly.

          

           JULIET
           I'faith I am sorry that thou art
           not well.
           Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me,
           what says my love?

          

           NURSE
           Your love says like an honest
           gentleman,
           And a courteous, and a kind, and a
           handsome,
           And I warrant a virtuous - Where is
           your mother?

          
          Juliet cracks.

          

           JULIET
           Where is my mother? How oddly thou
           repliest!
           'Your love says, like an honest
           gentleman, "Where is your mother"'!

          
          The nurse sulks.

          

           NURSE
           O God's lady dear are you so hot?
           Henceforth do your messages yourself.

          
          Juliet's frustration explodes.

          

           JULIET
           Here's such a coil! COME WHAT SAYS

           ROMEO?

          
          PAUSE: The Nurse considers Juliet.

          

           NURSE
           Have you got leave to go to
           confession today?

          

           JULIET
           I have.

          

           NURSE
           Then hie you hence to Father
           Laurence cell.
           There stays a husband to make you a
           wife!

          
          Juliet, with a scream of joy, hugs the Nurse to her.

          
          HOLD ON: Juliet's ecstatic features.

          

          INT. CHURCH. DAY.


          

          TIGHT ON: FATHER LAURENCE:

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           These violent delights have violent
           ends!

          
          PULL BACK: Father Laurence is preaching energetically from
          the pulpit. Hidden from the congregation, Romeo waits in a
          small alcove chapel at the side of the altar.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           The sweetest honey
           Is loathsome in its own
           deliciousness,
           Therefore love moderately.

          
          The Father glances toward Romeo.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Long love doth so.
           Too swift arrives as tardy as too
           slow.
          Juliet pushes through the double doors at the far end of the
          church.

          
          Father Laurence motions to the middle-aged choir master who
          leads the choir into a choral version of Led Zeppelin's "A
          Whole Lot of Love" with Latin lyrics.

          
          Father Laurence hurries from the altar over to Romeo.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Here comes the lady.

          
          Juliet bursts into the tiny chapel. Trying to observe a
          vestige of decorum, she greets Father Laurence.

          

           JULIET
           Good afternoon to my ghostly
           confessor.

          
          But before the priest can reply, the two lovers embrace,
          kissing passionately.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE

           (DRYLY)
           Romeo shall thank thee, daughter,
           for us both.

          
          The choir completes the hymn and the priest, realising it is
          his cue, rushes back to the altar. He quickly delivers a
          prayer to the congregation while eyeing the increasingly
          amorous smooching of the young couple.

          
          The choir launch into a joyous chorus and the priest returns
          to Romeo and Juliet. He delicately parts the couple.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Come, come, and we will make short
           work.
           For, by your leaves, you shall not
           stay alone
           Till Holy Church incorporate two in
           one.

          
          A young boy with a voice like Jamiroquai steps forward. He
          launches into a wailing solo.

          
          MACRO CLOSE UP: A simple silver ring. Engraved on the
          inside of the band are the words 'I love thee.'

          
          PULL BACK: Romeo slips the ring onto Juliet's finger as the
          priest executes the formal sacrament of marriage.

          INT./EXT. CHURCH. DAY.


          
          CRANE UP: Through the majestic patterning of stained glass,
          and out of the church to find Peter, the chauffeur, cradling
          a small camera as he waits nervously beside the limo.

          

          EXT. CHURCH. DAY.


          
          The music swells in celebration. Romeo and Juliet, now
          newly-wed, rush from the side door of the church. The
          priest follows, throwing handfuls of rice. Peter studiously
          takes a snap as the bride and groom kiss.

          
          Peter holds the door of the limousine open. Reluctantly
          Juliet gets into the car.

          
          As the car pulls out of the driveway, Romeo runs alongside.

          
          HOLD: On Romeo as he watches the big black car speed away.

          

          EXT. UNDERWATER. DAY.


          
          FISH-EYE VIEW: From the bottom of the ocean; Mercutio's
          distorted features. Gun aimed, he stares intently into the
          water.

          
          A muffled BANG! and a bullet whizzes past the camera.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH. DAY.


          
          We see that Mercutio - wading in knee deep water close to
          the beach - is hunting fish.

          
          Benvolio shelters in the shade of an unmanned life guard
          tower.

          
          A shimmering heat haze blankets the deserted beach and the
          horizon is stacked with purple storm clouds.

          

           BENVOLIO
           I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's
           retire.
           The day is hot,

          
          Mercutio, ignoring him, plugs away at another fish. Benvolio
          nervously looks to see if there is any reaction to the sound
          of the shot.

          

           BENVOLIO (CONT.)
           The Capels are abroad. And if we
           meet we shall not 'scape a brawl.

          
          Mercutio strides out of the water.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Thou art like one of these fellows
           that, when he enters the confines
           of a tavern, claps me his sword
           upon the table and says 'God send
           me no need of thee!'
           (he hands Benvolio
           his gun)
           and by the operation of the second
           cup draws him on the drawer, when
           indeed there is no need.

          
          Another incredible sleight of hand routine and Mercutio has
          managed to draw Benvolio's pistol, retrieve his own gun, and
          trap Benvolio with a barrel at each temple.

          
          The joke has worn thin for Benvolio; he pushes past Mercutio
          toward where Balthasar, Sampson and Gregory lounge in the
          shade of the beach-side hang.

          
          Suddenly he stops dead - a monstrous black sedan prowls into
          the beach side parking lot.

          

           BENVOLIO
           By my head, here comes the Capulets.

          

           MERCUTIO
           By my heel, I care not.

          

          EXT. BEACH - PARKING LOT. DAY.


          
          The sedan mounts the curb and slides to a halt only metres
          from Benvolio and Mercutio.

          
          Tybalt, Abra and Petruchio alight from the sedan and walk
          menacingly toward Mercutio and Benvolio.

          

           TYBALT
           Gentlemen, good day. A word with
           one of you.

          
          The boys from the hang, drawn the Capulet car, converge -
          eyes dart nervously, hands stray towards guns.

          
          Mercutio smiles mockingly.

          

           MERCUTIO
           And but one word with one of us?
           Couple it with something. Make it
           a word and a...

          
          Leaning close to Tybalt, he camps the implication.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           ...blow.

          
          Mercutio scores. The boys laugh.

          

           TYBALT

           (FURIOUS)
           You shall find me apt enough to
           that, sir,
           (clutching at his
           side arm)
           And you will give me occasion.

          
          CLOSE ON: Mercutio. He stops, eyeing the hand on the gun.
          No one moves.

          

           MERCUTIO
           (a breathy, coquettish

           VOICE)
           Could you not take some occasion
           without giving?

          
          The boys fall about again. Tybalt cracks.

          

           TYBALT
           Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.

          
          The accusation stings - Mercutio's anger flares.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Consort? What, dost thou make us
           minstrels? And thou make minstrels
           of us look to hear nothing but
           discords. Here's my fiddlestick.

          
          Indicating his holstered gun.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Here's that shall make you dance.
           (barking at Tybalt)
           Zounds,
           (goading him to go
           for his gun)
           consort!

          
          CLOSE ON: Tybalt.

          
          CLOSE ON: Mercutio. He will not back down. Benvolio tries
          to diffuse things.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Either withdraw unto some private
           place.
           Or reason coldly of your grievances.
           Here all eyes gaze on us.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Men's eyes were made to look, and
           let them gaze.
           I will not budge for no man's
           pleasure, I.

          
          At that moment, Romeo's car pulls into the lot. Tybalt
          smiles.

          

           TYBALT
           Well sir, here comes my man.

          
          Tybalt moves toward Romeo who bounds from his car full of
          happy news.

          

           TYBALT
           Romeo, the love I bear thee can

           AFFORD
           No better term than this:

          
          CLOSE ON: Tybalt. He clears his jacket from his side arm
          and issues the challenge.

          

           TYBALT (CONT.)
           Thou art a villain!

          
          CLOSE ON: Mercutio.

          
          CLOSE ON: Benvolio.

          
          All eyes are on Romeo.

          
          Romeo calmly approaches his now cousin.

          

           ROMEO
           Tybalt, the reason that I have to
           love thee
           Doth much excuse the appertaining

           RAGE
           To such a greeting: villain am I
           none,
           Therefore farewell. I see thou
           knowest me not.

          
          Romeo turns, and to the amazement of all, walks back to his
          car. Tybalt, unable to shoot him in the back, is confused.
          He hurls himself into his sedan.

          
          Kicking it into a sand spraying U-turn, he careens the short
          distance to Romeo's car. Slamming into the back of it he
          blocks Romeo in.

          
          Tybalt leaps out, maniacally kicking at bumper, door and
          headlights. Romeo flicks the locks down. Tybalt shatters
          the side window and hauls Romeo through the door, slamming
          him against the savaged fuselage.

          

           TYBALT
           Boy, this shall not excuse the

           INJURIES
           That thou hast done me!

          
          He smashes Romeo across the face, Romeo crashes to the
          roadway.

          

           TYBALT

           (YELLING)
           Turn and draw.

          
          A cut has opened in the side of Romeo's mouth. He unsteadily
          lifts himself up, and meeting Tybalt's gaze, speaks through
          bloodied teeth.

          

           ROMEO
           I never injured thee,
           And so, good Capulet, which name I

           TENDER
           As dearly as mine own...

          
          Romeo cautiously extracts his gun...

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           ...be satisfied.

          
          ...and throws it at Tybalt's feet.

          
          Storm clouds obscure the sun as Romeo turns and walks from
          the parking lot.

          
          Mercutio, Benvolio and the others cannot believe their eyes.

          

           MERCUTIO
           O calm, dishonourable, vile
           submission!

          

          EXT. BEACH - VACANT LOT. DAY.


          
          Tybalt's anger must be answered. He ceremoniously disarms,
          gives his weapon to Abra, and sprints after Romeo who is now
          passing a beach side lot that houses an abandoned grand
          hotel. A bone-cracking kick sends Romeo crumbling into the
          vacant lot. The boys swarm toward the fray.
          Romeo, still refusing the fight, scrambles up the stairs of
          the deserted hotel. Tybalt trips him and Romeo careens into
          an ornamental wooden railing, smashing it to pieces.

          
          Tybalt kicks savagely at the helpless Romeo.

          
          Suddenly, Mercutio appears running full tilt down the
          concrete terrace. He plucks up one of the splintered wooden
          palings and yells...

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Tybalt, you ratcatcher,

          
          ...as he bludgeons him across the face. Tybalt goes down.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Will you walk?

          
          Tybalt leaps to his feet grabbing a lump of wood.

          

           TYBALT
           What wouldst thou have with me?

          
          He swipes at Mercutio.

          

           MERCUTIO

           (AVOIDING)
           Good King of Cats, nothing but one
           of your nine lives.

          
          Mercutio jabs, Tybalt sidesteps.

          

           TYBALT
           I am for you.

          
          Tybalt aims a double-handed blow to Mercutio's head.
          Mercutio blocks, hooking Tybalt's stick away.

          
          Unarmed, Tybalt throws his full body weight upon Mercutio,
          slamming him against a window that shatters in a storm of
          glass.

          
          Lightning fast, Mercutio jackknifes to his feet. He raises
          his weapon to deliver a skull-crushing final blow to the
          trapped Tybalt. Romeo rushes between them.

          

           ROMEO
           Forbear this outrage, good Mercutio!

          
          Seizing the opportunity, Tybalt lunges at Romeo with a
          lethal triangle of broken glass. He misses, gouging instead
          a slash of flesh from Mercutio's stomach.
          A scream of excruciating pain as Mercutio grabs at his
          bloodied side. Everyone is still. In the abrupt silence,
          sirens are heard closing in the distance. Abra tugs at
          Tybalt.

          

           ABRA
           Away Tybalt!

          
          They bolt for their vehicle.

          
          Benvolio goes to Mercutio.

          

           BENVOLIO
           Art thou hurt?

          
          But Mercutio, covering his wound with his hand, laughs.

          

           MERCUTIO
           Ay, ay, a scratch.

          
          He turns to his assembled fans at the bottom of the stairs.
          With outrageous bravado he plays at being Caesar the
          conqueror.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           A scratch!

          
          The boys cheer their conquering hero. Romeo helps Mercutio
          down the stairs.

          

           ROMEO
           Courage, man. The hurt cannot be
           much.

          
          Mercutio holding his bleeding side, jokes through the pain.

          

           MERCUTIO
           'Twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow
           and you shall find me a grave man.

          
          He turns the next thought to the assembled audience.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           (through crazy laughter)
           A plague o' both your houses!

          
          Mercutio turns from the cheering boys to Romeo who is
          struggling to support his weight.

          
          Mercutio - through weak and desperate breathing.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           Why the devil came you between us?
           I was hurt under your arm.
          Romeo starts to register the panic in Mercutio's eyes.

          

           ROMEO
           I thought all for the best.

          
          Like an animal trying to break free from a mortal trap,
          Mercutio pushes Romeo away. He screams in horror, as if
          falling in the dark:

          

           MERCUTIO
           A plague o' both your houses!
           They have made worms' meat of me.

          
          Mercutio staggers down the stairs and collapses in the dirt.
          Romeo is there instantly, cradling his friend's head out of
          the dust. The dying boy stares back at Romeo, smiling
          through the chilling cold.

          

           MERCUTIO (CONT.)
           (a silent whisper)
           Your houses!

          
          Everything stands still, everything is quiet. The storm
          finally breaks.

          

          EXT. BEACH - RAIN. DAY.


          
          Tiny drops of water fall from the sky and bespeckle
          Mercutio's lifeless body. The droplets grow to a heavy rain.
          Romeo can hear the faint sound a thousand miles away of
          Benvolio whispering:

          

           BENVOLIO
           Mercutio is dead!

          
          Tears streak Romeo's face. He cries out.

          

           ROMEO
           Oh sweet Juliet,
           Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
           And in my temper softened valor's
           steel!

          
          The sound of Tybalt's vehicle starting brings back cold
          reality. Romeo's sorrow turns to uncontrollable rage.

          
          Shrugging aside Benvolio's attempts to restrain him, Romeo
          runs to his car.

          

          EXT. BEACH - PARKING LOT. DAY.


          
          Up ahead Tybalt's sedan screeches into a fishtailing U-turn
          and powers away.
          Romeo jumps into his vehicle. In an effort to head Tybalt
          off, he guns his damaged machine down a one way street.

          
          The rain is now blinding. Romeo stops for nothing;
          pedestrians flee, cars spin out of control.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH STREETS - FROM AIR. DAY.


          
          AERIAL SHOT: The two cars speed along parallel roads toward
          Plaza Jesu. Romeo is gaining.

          

          EXT. VERONA STREET - CHRIST ROUNDABOUT. DAY.


          
          CUT TO: Tybalt's car negotiating the immense roundabout at
          the foot of the statue of Jesus.

          

          EXT. CHRIST ROUNDABOUT. DAY.


          
          CUT TO: Romeo's car firing out of the one way street and
          slamming into Tybalt's car. Tybalt's car careens out of
          control up the stairs of the statue, clips the fountain,
          flips, and slides upside down onto the roadway.

          
          CUT TO: Tybalt scrambling from his upturned vehicle.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo running toward him.

          
          SUDDENLY Romeo is halted by Tybalt's drawn gun. Fearlessly
          marching toward it, he screams through tears.

          

           ROMEO
           Mercutio's soul
           Is but a little way above our heads,

          
          Romeo grabs the barrel of the gun; forcing it between his
          own eyes, he growls insanely at Tybalt.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Staying for thine to keep him
           company.

          
          Tybalt, unnerved, tries to back off.

          

           TYBALT
           Thou, wretched boy, shalt with him
           hence.

          
          Romeo, refusing to let go of the gun, forces Tybalt backward
          through the torrential rain.

          

           ROMEO
           (with frightening intensity)
           Either thou or I, or both, must go
           with him.

          
          Cars swerve, Romeo is relentless. He grips Tybalt's hand
          trying to force him to shoot.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Either thou or I, or both, must go
           with him.

          
          Panicked, Tybalt wrenches free and lurches onto the roadway.
          Blinded by the headlights of an oncoming car he thuds onto
          its hood as it skids to a halt. The impact catapults his
          gun high into the air.

          
          Romeo coldly follows its slow motion, spinning trajectory.

          
          Real time stretches as the gun dances high above his head.
          Police sirens, cars swerving, people screaming, and the
          yelling of panicked commands fade to a nothingness.

          
          Romeo stands calmly considering the gun in the air. A
          harrowing symphonic tone and the echo of Mercutio's voice
          can be heard.

          

           MERCUTIO (V/O)
           Why the devil came you between us?

          
          CUT TO: Patrol cars sliding to a halt.

          
          CUT TO: The spinning gun slowly falling to earth.

          
          CUT TO: Tybalt rising from the ground.

          
          CUT TO: Cops leaping from their cars.

          
          CUT TO: The gun landing in Romeo's hand. His eyes full of
          rage.

          
          CUT TO: Cops levelling their revolvers.

          

           COP
           (Romeo in his sights)
           Put up thy weapon.

          
          CUT TO: Real time - Romeo fires three deliberate shots.
          Tybalt's body convulses backwards against the car, hitting
          it with a thud, bloodying the shattered windscreen.

          
          The cop fires. A bullet grazes Romeo's arm - his gun drops
          as he screams.

          

           ROMEO
           O, I am fortune's fool!

          
          At that moment a roaring hurricane wind hits; blinding police.

          
          CLOSE ON: The scaffolding surrounding the Jesus statue.
          Part of it's canvas covering rips away. Scaffold rains down
          as the insanely flapping material tries to smash free from
          it's moorings.

          
          Through the mayhem, a rusty Ford driven by Balthasar, slides
          to a halt.

          
          Balthasar screams out at Romeo.

          

           BALTHASAR
           Romeo, away be gone! Stand not
           amazed!

          
          Romeo collapses into the front seat.

          
          The cops open fire as Balthasar speeds off into the storm.

          

          INT. BALTHASAR'S CAR. AFTERNOON.


          
          Romeo is bleeding from the bullet graze.

          

          EXT. CAUSEWAY. AFTERNOON.


          
          The gale-force winds throw waves across the causeway as the
          fugitives disappear into the black afternoon.

          
          CRANE UP: In the distance we see Montague and Capulet towers.
          Divided by the statue of Christ, they suffer the storm's rage.

          

          EXT. MONUMENT. AFTERNOON.


          
          Away, below the outstretched arms of Christ, lights from
          emergency vehicles pulse red through the downpour.

          
          THE CAMERA: Falls through heavy rain toward a woman crouched
          over the lifeless body of Tybalt.

          
          She cries:

          

           GLORIA
           Tybalt!

          
          Cops nervously eye Fulgencio Capulet and Ted Montague, who,
          both flanked by body guards, face each other across the
          crime scene. Medics stand by helplessly as Gloria clings to
          Tybalt's body. A handcuffed Benvolio looks on.

          

           GLORIA (CONT.)
           Tybalt, my cousin, O my brother's
           child!
           O, the blood is spilled of my dear
           kinsman.

          
          Police lines part as Captain Prince arrives.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Where are the vile beginners of
           this fray?

          
          Benvolio struggles forward.

          

           BENVOLIO
           O noble Prince I can discover all
           The unlucky manage of this fatal
           brawl.

          
          Gloria appeals hysterically:

          

           GLORIA
           Prince as thou art true,
           For blood of ours shed blood of
           Montague!

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?

          

           BENVOLIO
           (pointing to Tybalt's corpse)
           There lies the man, slain by young
           Romeo,
           That slew thy kinsman brave Mercutio.

          
          Gloria interjects savagely.

          

           GLORIA
           He speaks not true! Affection
           makes him false!

          

           BENVOLIO
           Romeo, that spoke him fair, could
           not take
           Truce with the unruly spleen of

           TYBALT
           Deaf to peace!

          

           GLORIA
           He is a kinsman to the Montague!
           I beg for justice which thou Prince
           must give.
           Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not
           live!

          
          Captain Prince turns to Gloria.

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio.
           Who now the price of his dear blood
           doth owe?

          
          Ted Montague pleads:

          

           MONTAGUE
           Not Romeo, Prince, he was Mercutio's
           friend; His fault concludes but
           what the law should end,
           The life of Tybalt.

          
          Captain Prince eyes Montague coldly.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           And for that offence
           Immediately we do exile him.

          
          Montague, body guards in tow, surges forward.

          

           MONTAGUE
           Noble Prince...?

          
          Prince silences him.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           I will be deaf to pleading and

           EXCUSES;
           Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase
           out abuses.
           Therefore use none.

          
          The Captain turns and addresses his assembled officers.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE (CONT.)
           Let Romeo hence in haste,
           Else, when he is found that hour is
           his last.

          
          CLOSE ON: Captain Prince.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE (CONT.)
           Bear hence this body and attend our
           will.
           Mercy but murders, pardoning those
           that kill.

          

          INT. JULIET'S BEDROOM. AFTERNOON.


          
          An acoustic guitar version of Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear
          Us Apart.' Juliet traces the path of a raindrop on the
          window pane as she speaks her thoughts to the storm.

          

           JULIET
           Come gentle night, coming loving
           black browed night,
           Give me my Romeo. And when I shall
           die,
           Take him and cut him out in little
           stars,
           And he will make the face of heaven
           so fine
           That all the world will be in love
           with night,
           And pay no worship to the garish
           sun.
           O, I have bought the mansion of a

           LOVE
           But not possessed it, and though I
           am sold,
           Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is
           this day
           As is the night before some festival
           To an impatient child that hath new

           ROBES
           And may not wear them.

          

          EXT. CAPULET'S MANSION - DRIVEWAY. AFTERNOON.


          
          Juliet's P.O.V.: The limousine pulls into the driveway.

          
          PULL OUT: Of the window and CRANE DOWN: Juliet runs from the
          room.

          

          EXT. CAPULET MANSION. AFTERNOON.


          
          Through the open doorway we see an excited Juliet meet the
          Nurse at the bottom of the stairs.

          
          The music surges.

          
          TRACK IN: The Nurse's words are lost in the storm.

          
          Juliet buckles.

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION. AFTERNOON.


          
          We are close enough now to hear Juliet's words.

          

           JULIET
           Oh God! Did Romeo's hand shed
           Tybalt's blood?

          

           NURSE
           It did, it did! Alas the day, it
           did!

          

           JULIET
           Oh serpent heart, hid with a
           flowering face.
           Was ever book containing such vile

           MATTER
           So fairly bound? O, that deceit
           should dwell
           In such a gorgeous palace!

          

           NURSE
           There's no trust, No faith, no
           honesty in men. All perjured,
           All forsworn, all naught, all
           dissemblers.
           Shame come to Romeo.

          

           JULIET
           Blistered be thy tongue
           For such a wish! He was not born
           to shame. Upon his brow shame is
           ashamed to sit.

          

           NURSE
           Will you speak well of him that
           killed your cousin?

          

           JULIET
           Shall I speak ill of him that is my
           husband?
           Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall
           smooth thy name
           When I, thy three-hours wife have
           mangled it?
           But whyfore, villain, didst thou
           kill my cousin?
           That villain cousin would have
           killed my husband.
           All this is comfort, wherefore weep
           I then?
           Some word there was worser than
           Tybalt's death:
           I would forget it fain - exiled.
           Tybalt is dead, and Romeo exiled.
           To speak that word is father,
           mother,
           Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet, all slain,
           All dead.

          
          Juliet sinks to the floor, overwhelmed by tears.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           Nurse, I'll to my wedding bed,
           And death, not Romeo, take my
           maidenhead.

          
          Nurse looks down at Juliet. She goes and comforts her.

          

           NURSE
           Hie to your chamber. I'll find

           ROMEO
           To comfort you. I know well where
           he is.
           Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at
           night.

          
          Juliet looks up through tears.

          

           JULIET
           O find him, give this ring to my
           true knight,
           And bid him come to take his last
           farewell.

          
          SLAM MACRO ZOOM: Into the ring. The screen fills with the
          words 'I love thee'.

          

          INT. PRESBYTERY BEDROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo lies on the bed shirtless and crying. His wound has
          been bandaged and Balthasar crouches frightened in the corner.

          
          The priest leads the Nurse into the room.

          
          Romeo looks up.

          

           ROMEO
           Nurse!

          
          She goes to him.

          

           NURSE
           Ah sir! Ah sir! Death's the end
           of all.

          

           ROMEO
           Speakest thou of Juliet?
           Where is she? And how doth she?
           And what says
           My concealed lady to our cancelled
           love?

          

           NURSE
           O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps
           and weeps,
           And then on Romeo cries, and then
           falls down again.

          
          Romeo is wailing inconsolably.

           ROMEO
           As if that name,
           Shot from the deadly level of a
           gun,
           Did murder her, as that name's
           cursed hand murdered her kinsman!

          
          Father Laurence shakes the hysterical boy.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           I thought thy disposition better
           tempered!
           Thy Juliet is alive, There art thou
           happy.
           The law that threatened death
           becomes thy friend
           And turns it to exile. There art
           thou happy.
           A pack of blessings light upon thy
           back.

          
          Romeo calms. The Nurse gives him the ring.

          

           NURSE
           Here sir, a ring my lady bid me
           give you.

          
          Romeo enfolds the ring in his hand.

          

           ROMEO
           How well my comfort is revived by
           this.

          
          The priest goes to his wardrobe, removes a clean white shirt
          and helps Romeo put it on.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Go, get thee to thy love, as was
           decreed.
           Ascend her chamber. Hence and
           comfort her.
           But look thou stay not till the
           Watch be set,
           For then thou canst not pass to
           Mantua where thou shalt live till
           we can find a time
           To blaze your marriage, reconcile
           your friends,
           Beg pardon of the Prince and call
           thee back,
           With twenty hundred thousand times
           more joy
           Than thou wentst forth in
           lamentation.

          
          Father Laurence ushers Romeo from the room.

          

          INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT.


          
          They hurry down the hallway.

          
          The priest opens the front door.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Go hence. Be gone by the break of

           DAY
           Sojourn in Mantua. Give me thy hand.

          
          Romeo embraces him.

          

           ROMEO
           Farewell.

          
          The priest and Balthasar watch as Romeo and the Nurse sprint
          for the car.

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION. NIGHT.


          
          Sobs echo through the house.

          
          Dave Paris stands in the entrance hallway clutching a huge
          bunch of flowers.

          
          Fulgencio Capulet stands beside him, whisky glass in hand.

          
          CUT TO: Gloria on the upper landing. There is a strange
          faraway quality about her as she descends to Dave and Capulet.

          

           GLORIA
           She'll not come down tonight.

          
          Dave, an understanding smile.

          

           DAVE
           These times of woe afford no times
           to woo.

          
          Capulet guides Dave into the house.

          

           CAPULET
           Look you, she loved her kinsman
           Tybalt dearly.

          

           GLORIA

           (JOINING)
           And so did I.

          

           CAPULET
           (a cold glance at Gloria)
           Well, we were born to die.

          
          Capulet takes a large slug of whisky. Gloria leans close to
          Dave.

          

           GLORIA
           I'll know her mind early tomorrow.
           Tonight she's mewed up to her
           heaviness.

          
          As Gloria, Dave and Capulet exit down the hallway we CRANE
          UP: toward Juliet's bedroom door.

          

          INT. JULIET'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet's face. Tears stream onto the pillow.
          Without warning a hand lightly touches her cheek. Juliet's
          eyes dart up to discover Romeo standing above her.

          
          A still moment of disbelief. Leaning down, Roemo kisses
          away the tears that fall from her dark, wide eyes.

          
          Juliet's lips find Romeo's and they gently sink back onto
          the bed.

          

          INT. SITTING ROOM. NIGHT.


          
          Capulet sits in an armchair drinking. Dave and Gloria sit
          opposite as Capulet whips himself into a frenzy of drunken
          excitement.

          

           CAPULET
           We'll keep no great ado - a friend
           or two.
           For, hark you, Tybalt being slain
           so late,
           It may be thought we held him
           carelessly,
           Being our kinsman if we revel
           much -
           But soft what day is this?

          

           DAVE
           Monday my lord.

          

           CAPULET
           Well Wednesday is too soon - what
           say you to Thursday?

          
          Gloria looks up alarmed; Dave is stunned.

          

           DAVE
           My lord I...

          

           CAPULET
           (leaning close)
           I will make a desperate tender of
           my child's love.
           (a drunken good humour)
           I think she will be ruled in all
           respects by me;
           (exploding with
           hearty laughter)
           Nay, more, I doubt it not!

          
          CUT TO: Gloria, her face hardens.

          

           CAPULET
           (to Dave)
           But what say you to Thursday?

          
          Dave is trying to catch up.

          

           DAVE
           My lord I...

          
          CUT TO: Capulet he eyes Dave intently.

          

           DAVE (CONT.)
           I would that Thursday were tomorrow.

          
          Delighted, Capulet jumps to his feet.

          

           CAPULET
           A Thursday let it be then!

          
          Capulet holds out his glass in toast. Dave and Gloria rise.

          

           CAPULET
           Wife, go you to Juliet ere you go
           to bed.
           Tell her, a Thursday she shall be

           MARRIED
           To this noble sir!

          
          CLOSE ON: The glasses clink.

          

          EXT. CAPULET ESTATE. DAWN.


          
          A pink and gold dawn breaks over Capulet Mansion.

          

          INT. JULIET'S BEDROOM. DAWN.


          
          A tangle of young limbs.

          
          Romeo and Juliet blissfully asleep. The dawn light creeps
          into the room.

          

          EXT. CAPULET ESTATE. DAWN.


          
          Balthasar's car covertly pulls into a side road near the
          estate.

          

          INT. JULIET'S BEDROOM. DAWN.


          
          Romeo and Juliet still asleep.

          
          CRANE DOWN: Toward the sleeping innocence of the faces.

          
          HOLD: A shadow of fear passes across Romeo's features.

          
          With a cry of panic, he sits bolt upright.

          
          Wide awake, but disorientated, Romeo stares around the
          room - as Juliet stirs, he remembers where he is.

          
          Slipping quietly from the bed, Romeo begins to dress.

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo. A pair of lips enter frame and find his
          neck. It is Juliet. She hugs herself to him.

          

           JULIET
           Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet
           near day.

          
          Romeo turns - softly he strokes her cheek.

          

           ROMEO
           I must be gone and live, or stay
           and die.

          
          Juliet kisses his finger-tips.

          

           JULIET
           Yond light is not daylight,

          
          And then his cheek...

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           I know it, I
           It is some meteor that the sun

           EXHALES
           To light thee on thy way to Mantua.
           Therefore stay yet. Thou needest
           not to be gone.

          
          Romeo, feverishly returning the kisses, throws himself on
          Juliet.

          

           ROMEO
           Let me be taken, let me be put to
           death.
           I have more care to stay than will
           to go.
           Come, death, and welcome! Juliet
           wills it so.

          
          Juliet is suddenly still. Romeo kisses her gently.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           How is't, my soul? Let's talk. It
           is not day.

          
          Juliet pulls Romeo to his feet.

          

           JULIET
           It is, it is! Hie hence, be gone,
           away!
           O, now be gone! More light and
           light it grows.

          
          Frantically she helps him into his clothes.

          

           ROMEO
           More light and light: more dark and
           dark our woes.

          
          There is an urgent knocking on the door. They freeze.

          

           NURSE (O/S)
           Madam!

          

           JULIET
           Nurse!

          

           NURSE (O/S)
           Your lady mother is coming to your
           chamber.

          

           JULIET
           Then, window, let day in, and let
           life out.

          
          Desperately Juliet pulls Romeo out onto the balcony.

          

          EXT. BALCONY. DAWN.


          
          The storm, now past, has left a morning achingly pure.

          

           ROMEO
           Farewell, farewell. One kiss, and
           I'll descend.
          Romeo climbs down from the balcony and into the shadows.

          

           JULIET
           O, think'st thou we shall ever meet
           again?

          
          Romeo smiles up at her.

          

           ROMEO
           I doubt it not;

          
          Juliet's face darkens.

          

           JULIET
           O God, I have an ill-divining soul.
           Methinks I see thee, now thou art
           so low,
           As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.

          
          Romeo scrambles back up to the balcony.

          

           ROMEO
           Trust me, love, all these woes
           shall serve
           For sweet discourses in our times
           to come.

          
          From Juliet's bedroom comes the brittle sound of Gloria
          Capulet's voice.

          

           GLORIA
           Ho daughter! Are you up?

          
          Juliet spins around. Gloria has parted the curtains and is
          staring directly at her daughter.

          

           GLORIA
           Well, well.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo sheltered just below the lip of the balcony.

          
          FOLLOW: His hand, as it slowly reaches up and touches
          Juliet's fingers hidden behind her back.

          
          Gloria returns to the room. Juliet steals a glance toward
          Romeo as he silently mouths:

          

           ROMEO
           Adieu, adieu!

          
          As Romeo's face disappears into the shadows Juliet whispers
          a little prayer to herself.

          

           JULIET
           O Fortune, Fortune! Be fickle,
           Fortune,
           Fo then I hope thou wilt not keep
           him long
           But send him back.

          

          INT. JULIET'S BEDROOM. DAWN.


          
          Juliet is trying not to cry as she goes in to her mother.
          Gloria turns to her.

          

           GLORIA
           Thou hast a careful father, child:
           One who, to put thee from thy
           heaviness,
           Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy
           That thou expects not nor I looked
           not for.

          
          Juliet plays along.

          

           JULIET
           Madam, in happy time. What day is
           that?

          
          Gloria takes a deep breath.

          

           GLORIA
           Marry, my child, early next Thursday

           MORN
           The gallant, young, and noble
           gentleman,
           Sir Paris, at Saint Peter's Church,
           Shall happily make thee there a
           joyful bride.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet. She can barely speak.

          

           JULIET
           Now by Saint Peter's Church, and
           Peter too,
           He shall not make me there a joyful
           bride!

          
          Fear passes across Gloria's face.

          

           GLORIA
           Here comes your father. Tell him
           so yourself.

          
          Capulet - whisky glass in hand - ebulliently bursts into the
          room.

          

           CAPULET
           How now, wife?
           Have you delivered to her our decree?

          

           GLORIA
           Ay, sir. But she will none, she
           gives you thanks.
           I would the fool were married to
           her grave!

          
          Capulet - a dangerous calm.

          

           CAPULET
           How? Will she none?
           Is she not proud? Doth she not
           count her blest,
           Unworthy as she is, that we have

           WROUGHT
           So worthy a gentleman to be her
           bride?

          

           JULIET
           Not proud you have, but thankful
           that you have.
           Proud can I never be of what I hate.

          
          PAUSE: Capulet considers his daughter, then -

          
          BAM! He hurls his glass against the wall, shattering it
          into a thousand pieces.

          

           CAPULET
           Thank me no thankings, nor proud me
           no prouds,
           But fettle your fine joints 'gainst
           Thursday next ...

          
          Capulet advances. Juliet, terrified, retreats into the
          hallway.

          

           JULIET
           Hear me with patience but to speak
           a word...

          

          INT. LANDING. DAY.


          
          The Nurse appears as Capulet picks his daughter up and
          shakes her like a rag doll.

          

           CAPULET
           Speak not, reply not, do not answer
           me!

          
          He throws her to the floor. His fist thuds as it slams into
          her face.

          

           GLORIA

           (SCREAMING)
           Fie, fie! What are you mad?

          
          Gloria tries to restrain Capulet. He back-hands her,
          sending her flying against the wall - bellowing insanely, he
          advances on his cowering daughter.

          

           CAPULET
           Hang thee, young baggage!
           Disobedient wretch.

          
          The Nurse throws herself between Capulet and Juliet.

          

           NURSE
           God in heaven bless her!
           You are to blame, my lord, to rate
           her so.

          
          Furious, Capulet shunts her aside.

          

           CAPULET
           Peace, you mumbling fool!

          
          Capulet yanks his daughter's face close to his.

          

           CAPULET (CONT.)
           I tell thee what - get thee to
           church a Thursday
           Or never after look me in the face.
           And you be mine, I'll give you to
           my friend.
           And you be not, hang, beg, starve,
           die in the streets,
           Trust to it. Bethink you. I'll
           not be forsworn.

          
          Capulet storms off down the hall.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet. She huddles, shaking at the top of the
          stairs.

          

           JULIET
           O sweet my mother, cast me not
           away!
           Delay this marriage for a month, a
           week.
           Or if you do not, make the bridal

           BED
           In that dim monument where Tybalt
           lies.

          
          A trickle of blood issues from Gloria's cut lip. She checks
          her appearance in the hall mirror.

          

           GLORIA
           Talk not to me, for I'll not speak
           a word.
           Do as thou wilt, for I have done
           with thee.

          
          Gloria leaves.

          

           JULIET
           O God! - O Nurse, how shall this be
           prevented?

          
          The Nurse doesn't reply.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           What sayest thou? Hast thou not a
           word of joy?
           Some comfort, Nurse.

          
          A heavy silence.

          
          The Nurse goes to Juliet.

          

           NURSE
           Faith, here it is.
           I think it best you married with
           this Paris.
           O, he's a lovely gentleman!
           I think you are happy in this
           second match,
           For it excels your first; or if it
           did not,
           Your first is dead - or 'twere as
           good he were
           As living here and you no use of him.

          
          Juliet is very still.

          

           JULIET
           Speakest thou from thy heart?

          

           NURSE
           And from my soul too. Else beshrew
           them both.

          

           JULIET
           Amen.

          

           NURSE

           (UNSURE)
           What?

          
          Juliet is matter of fact.

          

           JULIET
           Well, thou hast comforted me
           marvellous much.
           Go in; and tell my lady I am gone,
           Having displeased my father, to
           Friar Laurence,
           To make confession and to be
           absolved.

          
          The old woman nods. She strokes Juliet's hair.

          

           NURSE
           This is wisely done.

          
          Juliet does not look up.

          
          A disturbing choral chant:

          

           DISSOLVE TO:

          

          INT. CHURCH. DAY.


          
          Sunlight pierces stained glass - the chant a sinister
          underscoring. We hear Dave Paris' voice:

          

           DAVE (O/S)
           Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's
           death...

          
          CRANE DOWN: Father Laurence and Dave Paris stand at the
          front of the church.

          

           DAVE (CONT.)
           ...Now, sir, her father counts it

           DANGEROUS
           That she doth give her sorrow so
           much sway,
           And in his wisdom hastes our

           MARRIAGE
           To stop the inundation of her
           tears...

          
          Father Laurence turns. Juliet stands framed in the white
          glare of the doorway.

          
          Dave smiles.

          

           DAVE
           Happily met, my lady and my wife.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet's hand concealed beneath her coat - we can
          just see the handle of a gun.

          
          Juliet advances slowly, an icy calm:

          

           JULIET
           That may be, sir, when I may be a
           wife.

          

           DAVE
           That 'may be', must be, love, on
           Thursday next.

          
          Juliet stares past Dave.

          

           JULIET
           What must be, shall be.

          
          Father Laurence, a forced cheerfulness.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           That's a certain text.

          

           DAVE
           Come you to make confession?

          
          Juliet forces a smile.

          

           JULIET
           Are you at leisure, holy father,
           now?
           Or shall I come to you at evening
           mass?

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           My leisure serves me, pensive
           daughter, now.
           (to Dave)
           We must entreat the time alone.

          

           DAVE
           God shield I should disturb
           devotion! - Juliet, on Thursday
           early will I rouse ye;

          
          Dave bends.

          
          CLOSE ON: Juliet; she stares stonily ahead as Dave kisses
          her cheek.

          

           DAVE (CONT.)
           Till then, adieu, and keep this
           holy kiss.

          
          Dave leaves.

          
          TRACK WITH: Juliet; she runs for the sacristy.

          
          The priest follows.

          

          INT. SACRISTY. DAY.


          
          Juliet, shaking with sobs takes refuge in the shadows of the
          small room.

          
          The priest goes to her.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           O Juliet, I already know thy grief.

          
          Juliet pulls away.

          

           JULIET
           Tell me not, Father, that thou
           hearest of this,
           Unless thou tell me how I may
           prevent it.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           It strains me past the compass of
           my wits.

          

           JULIET

           (DESPERATELY)
           If in thy wisdom thou canst give no

           HELP
           Do thou but call my resolution
           wise,
           And with this I'll help it presently!

          
          She pulls the gun, pointing it towards herself.

          
          Horrified, Father Laurence moves to her.

          
          Juliet, panicked, levels the gun at him.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Hold daughter!

          

           JULIET
           (through tears)
           Be not so long to speak. I lone to
           die!

          
          Father Laurence holds out a soothing hand.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           I do spy a kind of hope,
           Which craves as desperate an

           EXECUTION
           As that is desperate which we would
           prevent.
           If, rather than marry Paris,
           Thou hast the strength of will to
           slay thyself,
           Then it is likely thou wilt

           UNDERTAKE
           A thing like death...

          
          We hear the distended chords of Fauré's Requiem.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           to chide away this shame...

          
          It continues throughout as;

          
          The entire screen fills with a glinting tear drop of blue
          liquid.

          
          Reflected in the fluid's convex surface, the face of Father
          Laurence.

          
          The face disappears as the tear drop falls and splashes into
          a clear water solution.

          
          Like a comet in slow motion, the drop stains the water a
          cobalt hue.

          

          INT. GREENHOUSE WORKROOM. DAY.


          
          PULL BACK: The blue liquid fills a tiny glass vial held by
          Father Laurence.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           No warmth, no breath shall testify
           thou livest.
           Each part, deprived of supple
           government,
           Shall stiff and stark and cold
           appear, like death.
           Now when the bridegroom in the

           MORNING
           Comes to rouse thee from thy bed,
           there art thou, dead.
           Thou shalt be borne to that same
           ancient vault
           Where all the kindred of the
           Capulets lie.
           In the meantime, against thou shalt
           awake,
           Shall Romeo by my letters know our
           drift,
           And hither shall he come.
           And that very
           Night shall Romeo bear thee hence
           to Mantua.

          
          The priest cautiously hands Juliet the vial.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Take thou this vial, being then in
           bed,
           And this distilling liquor drink
           thou off.
           I'll send my letters to thy lord
           with speed to Mantua.

          

          EXT. CHURCH. DAY.


          
          As Father Laurence speaks, the screen fills with an express
          envelope addressed "Romeo - Mantua." The envelope pulls away
          from the camera and falls into a canvas bag brimming with
          hundreds of like envelopes.

          
          TRACK: With the canvas bag. It continues its journey into
          the back of an express delivery van.

          
          Heavy double doors slam shut, filling the screen with the
          slogan 'Speed Express.'

          
          The van pulls away.

          

           DISSOLVE TO:

          

          EXT. MANTUA. DAY.


          
          A burning red sun is setting over an endless vista of ragged
          wasteland.

          
          CRANE DOWN: A weathered sign reads - Mantua: Behind it a
          vast colony of permanent trailer homes stretches into the
          distance.

          
          The rap, rap, rap of knocking echoes through the park...

          
          CUT TO: The source of the knocking. An express delivery
          man, envelope in hand, raps vigorously on the door of an
          unremarkable trailer.

          

          INT. TRAILER. DAY.


          
          TOPOGRAPHICAL SHOT: Romeo lies flat on a single bed in the
          crampled trailer.

          
          The rap, rap, rap is very loud now. We move toward Romeo
          and realise he cannot hear the knocking because he has
          Walkman headphones on.

          

          EXT. TRAILER. DAY.


          
          Unsuccessful, the delivery man is filling out a "WE CALLED"
          card. He pushes it under the door.

          

           DISSOLVE TO:

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION. NIGHT.


          
          The heraldic 'Wedding Chimes' by JS Bach. Juliet stands
          resplendent in a radiant bridal gown. The image floats
          ethereally in a towering slab of mirror.

          
          PULL OUT: From the mirror. The wedding dress is in fact
          being held in front of Juliet by two members of the house
          staff. Juliet is dressed in her night gown. The Nurse
          suggests various pairs of shoes.

          

           JULIET

           (DISINTERESTED)
           Ay, these attires are best.

          
          The fuss dispensed with, the staff leave.

          

           JULIET
           But, gentle Nurse,
           I pray thee leave me to myself
           tonight.

          

           NURSE
           Why Bride?

          
          Juliet navigates the Nurse toward the door.

          

           JULIET
           (almost in tears)
           To move the heavens to smile upon
           my state,
           Which, well thou knowest, is cross
           and full of sin.

          
          Juliet holds the Nurse in a pleading stare. She leaves.

          
          Alone now, Juliet hurries to her bedside drawer. She
          cautiously removes a rolled piece of cloth from which she
          produces the glass vial.

          

           JULIET

           (WHISPERS)
           What if this mixture do not work at
           all?
           Shall I be married then tomorrow
           morning?

          
          She cautiously begins to unscrew the tiny black lid.
          Suddenly, a knock at her door. Palming the vial, Juliet
          swings around to meet the arrival of her mother. Gloria
          probes her daughter's uneasiness.

          

           GLORIA
           What, are you busy, ho? Need you
           my help?

          

           JULIET
           (makes light of it)
           No, madam. We have culled such

           NECESSARIES
           As are behoveful for our state
           tomorrow.
           So please you, let me now be left
           alone,
           And let the Nurse this night sit up
           with you.

          
          Juliet begins to pull down the covers on her bed.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           For I am sure you have your hands
           full all
           In this so sudden business.

          
          Gloria, sensing Juliet's distress, moves cautiously toward
          her. Taking hold of the bed covers she helps her daughter
          into bed.

          

           GLORIA
           Good night.

          
          Juliet slides into bed. Gloria covers her with the blanket.

          

           GLORIA (CONT.)
           Get thee to bed, and rest, for thou
           hast need.

          
          A brief moment between mother and daughter. Gloria, unable
          to cross that final barrier, moves to the door; but she is
          stopped by the urgency in Juliet's voice.

          

           JULIET
           Farewell!

          
          Gloria turns to Juliet.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           God knows when we shall meet again.

          
          CLOSE ON: Gloria. A faint perplexity, and then with an
          almost warm smile she turns out the light and leaves.

          
          The room is in darkness but for patterns of moonlight
          through windows.

          
          TRACK: Toward Juliet. The sombre tones of Fauré's Requiem
          seep into our consciousness.

          

           JULIET
           I have a faint cold fear thrills
           through my veins
           That almost freezes up the heat of
           life.

          
          She brings the vial her mouth.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           Come, vial. Romeo, I drink to thee.

          
          Juliet drinks, a sudden violent convulsion, her face contorts
          in fear.

          

           DISSOLVE TO:

          

          EXT. CAPULET ESTATE. DAY.


          
          The sky is filled with green and grey clouds. A gusty rain
          blows the flower arrangements across the lawn. Large white
          wedding marquees flap in the wind.

          
          Through blurring rain, we see ambulances and police vehicles,
          lights flashing. Father Laurence, accompanied by a dour
          looking man in black, alights from his car. We follow their
          P.O.V.: We hear snatches of radio calls.

          

           MEDIC ONE (OVER RADIO)
           Mortal drugs?

          

           MEDIC TWO (OVER RADIO)
           Of lethal quantity as 'twould
           render death.

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION - DINING ROOM. DAY.


          
          They enter the house and pass the vast dining room, bedecked
          with wedding decorations.

          
          Capulet sits at the large mahogany table. In the background
          Gloria stares vacantly.

          
          Moving swiftly toward a doorway, the music builds.

          

          INT. CAPULET MANSION - JULIET'S BEDROOM. DAY.


          
          The door opens. On the bed Juliet's still body. Father
          Laurence closes the door. The priest kneels and hastily
          examines Juliet's pupils. He looks to the man in black who
          retrieves the glass vial from the floor and pockets it.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           (to the man in black)
           As the custom is,
           In all her best array bear her to
           church.

          
          When the man in black allows two other dark suited men into
          the room, it becomes clear he is the undertaker.

          

           UNDERTAKER
           She shall be borne to that same
           ancient vault
           Where all the kindred of the
           Capulets lie.

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. DAY.


          
          A thousand voices proclaim the 'Song of Ascension.'

          
          PAN DOWN: From the vaulting glass ceiling of the Capulet
          mausoleum.

          
          On view, enshrined in literally thousands of lit candles, is
          Juliet's peaceful body.

          
          We move through lines of Capulet mourners. In the shadows
          of the front door a young man hides.

          
          CLOSE ON: The young man. We recognise the distressed face
          of Balthasar.

          
          PUSH IN: Balthasar rushes from the Mausoleum.

          

          EXT. MANTUA. DAY.


          
          We are high above Mantua. Beyond the trailer park stretches
          a long ribbon of black highway.

          
          As a Speed Express van turns off the highway and into the
          park, we hear Romeo's voice over:

          

           ROMEO (V/O)
           If I may trust the flattering truth
           of sleep
           My dreams presage some joyful news
           at hand...

          
          CRANE DOWN: The Express van pulls up at the front office.
          The driver alights and goes inside.

          

          INT. TRAILER. DAY.


          
          Romeo sits at the trailer's small kitchen table smoking and
          writing in his notebook. The "WE CALLED" card lies next to
          an overflowing ashtray.

          
          His voice over continues.

          

           ROMEO (V/O)
           And all this day an unaccustomed

           SPIRIT
           Lifts me above the ground with
           cheerful thoughts.
           I dreamt my lady came and found me

           DEAD
           And breathed such life with kisses
           in my lips
           That I revived and was an emperor.
           Ah me, how sweet is love itself

           POSSESSED
           When but love's shadows are so rich
           in joy.

          
          Stubbing out his cigarette, Romeo gazes through the trailer
          window to see Balthasar's speeding car turn off the highway
          and into the trailer park.

          

           ROMEO
           News from Verona!

          
          An excited Romeo rushes from the trailer.

          

          EXT. TRAILER PARK. DAY.


          
          CRANE HIGH: Romeo sprints across open ground to intercept
          Balthasar's car. We see, but Romeo cannot, the Express van
          approaching from the office. The car slews to a halt and
          Balthasar jumps out.

          
          Romeo yells joyously.

          

           ROMEO
           How now, Balthasar?

          
          Bathlasar cannot speak.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Dost thou not bring me letters from
           the Priest?
           How doth my lady? Is my father
           well?
           How doth my lady Juliet? That I
           ask again,
           For nothing can be ill if she be
           well.

          
          Balthasar does not know how to say what he has come to tell.
          He looks away.

          

           BALTHASAR
           Then she is well and nothing can be
           ill.
           Her body sleeps in Capels' monument,
           And her immortal part with angels
           lives.
           I saw her laid low in her kindred's
           vault.

          
          For a long moment Romeo is profoundly still. When he
          speaks, it is with a chilling calm.

          

           ROMEO
           Is it e'en so?

          
          Balthasar nods.

          
          Romeo turns and stares into the distant wasteland.

          
          CLOSE ON: He speaks with bitter determination.

          

           ROMEO
           Then I defy you stars.

          
          Romeo moves to the car.

          

           ROMEO
           I will hence tonight.

          
          Balthasar tries to restrain him.

          

           BALTHASAR
           Have patience...

          
          Exploding with fury, Romeo throws Balthasar against the
          vehicle.

          

           ROMEO
           Leave me!

          
          CUT TO: The Speed Express messenger. Returning to his
          truck, the priest's undelivered envelope in his hand, the
          messenger looks toward the two boys.

          
          CUT TO: The boys. Balthasar pleads with Romeo.

          

           BALTHASAR
           Your looks are pale and wild and do

           IMPORT
           Some misadventure.

          

           ROMEO
           (with cold serenity)
           Tush, thou art deceived.
           (a niggling thought)
           Hast thou no letters to me from the
           Priest?

          
          Balthasar shakes his head.

          
          Romeo smiles.

          

           ROMEO
           No matter - I will hence tonight.

          
          Romeo climbs into the passenger seat of the car. Balthasar
          reluctantly gets behind the wheel.

          
          As silent tears begin to flow, Romeo turns his face to the
          setting sun.

          
          PUSH IN: As he whispers:

          

           ROMEO
           Well Juliet, I will lie with thee
           tonight.

          
          Balthasar's car roars out of the park.

          
          CUT TO: The delivery man. He looks to the envelope in his
          hand, then gets back into his truck.

          

          EXT. HIGHWAY. NIGHT.


          
          Balthasar's car speeds along the night-time highway.

          
          CRANE UP: In the distance the glow of city lights.

          

          EXT. ALLEYWAY. NIGHT.


          
          Balthasar's car pulls into an alley and stops outside a
          decrepity apartment block.

          INT. APARTMENT BLOCK. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: A bespectacled eye peers through the crack of a
          partly open doorway. Below the face, the barrel of a
          shotgun protrudes menacingly.

          
          CUT TO: Romeo in the dark, paint peeling hallway.

          

           ROMEO
           Let me have
           A dram of poison, such soon-
           speeding gear
           As will disperse itself through all
           the veins
           That the life-weary taker may fall
           dead.

          
          The eye considers, a voice rasps back.

          

           APOTHECARY
           Such mortal drugs I have, but
           Verona's law
           Is death to any he that utters them.

          
          Romeo speaks with fury.

          

           ROMEO
           The world is not thy friend, nor
           the world's law.
           Then be not poor, but break it and
           take this.

          
          Romeo shoves a wad of money at THE APOTHECARY'S face.

          
          BEAT. The rattle of a latch chain and the door swings open.

          
          Standing in the doorway is The Apothecary. Sixty something,
          he has a face scarred with age and abuse.

          

           APOTHECARY
           My poverty, but not my will consents.

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo.

          

           ROMEO
           I pay thy poverty and not thy will.

          

          INT. PRESBYTERY. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Father Laurence. He speaks into the telephone
          with concern.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Who bore my letter then to Romeo?

          

          INT. SPEED EXPRESS DEPOT. NIGHT.


          
          A bored clerk is on the other end of the line. The priest's
          letter is on the counter beside him.

          

           CLERK
           I could not sent it - here it is
           again.

          

          INT. PRESBYTERY. NIGHT.


          
          Father Laurence is worried.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           By my brotherhood, unhappy fortune!
           The letter was of dear import.
           (PAUSE: the priest listens)
           Adieu.

          
          He hangs up the receiver and looks at the wall clock.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE (CONT.)
           Now must I to the monument alone.
           Within this hour will fair Juliet
           awake.

          
          DISSOLVE FROM: The clock to...

          

          INT. APOTHECARY'S APARTMENT. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: A cat skitters across a stained formica table.

          
          PULL BACK: The Apothecary's apartment is filled with cats.
          Dozens of feline eyes glow in the dim room. Romeo stands
          nervously. The Apothecary extracts a small chemist's vial
          from inside a 'Statue of Our Lady' table lamp - he now
          speaks with cool professionalism.

          

           APOTHECARY
           Drink it off and if you had the
           strength of twenty men it would
           dispatch you straight.

          
          Romeo takes the vial and hands over the money.

          

           ROMEO
           There is my gold - worse poison to
           men's souls
           Than these poor compounds that thou
           mayst not sell.

          

          INT. BALTHASAR'S CAR. NIGHT.


          
          Motor running, Balthasar waits in the alley outside the
          apartment building. He checks the rear view mirror and
          freezes. At the end of the alleyway a police car crawls to
          a halt.

          

          EXT. ALLEYWAY. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo exits the building, and as he does so, the streetlight
          catches his face. The Cop's and Romeo's eyes meet.

          

          INT. POLICE CAR. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: The cop.

          

           COP
           This is that banished haughty
           Montague.

          

          INT. BALTHASAR'S CAR.


          
          Balthasar cracks; he guns the engine and the car lurches
          forward.

          

          EXT. ALLEYWAY. NIGHT.


          
          Tires screech as Romeo dives into the passenger seat of
          Balthasar's moving vehicle.

          
          Siren blaring, the police car gives chase.

          

          AERIAL SHOT. NIGHT.

          
          Balthasar's car winds through traffic - the patrol car
          gaining.

          

          EXT. ANOTHER PART OF TOWN. NIGHT.


          
          A police car U-turns over a median strip.

          

          EXT. BALTHASAR'S CAR. NIGHT.


          
          TIGHT ON: A rusted brown hood.

          
          The tortured engine screams as Balthasar negotiates the
          speeding car through city traffic.

          
          CRANE UP: Red and blue police light approach fast.

          

          INT. PRECINCT OFFICE. NIGHT.


          
          Captain Prince barrels through the corridors of police
          headquarters pulling on his flying jacket.

          

          EXT. STREET. NIGHT.


          
          TIGHT ON: A smoking tire as it lays rubber to the asphalt.

          
          Balthasar grits his teeth as he weaves the car through the
          impossibly tight space between a container truck and a bus.

          
          WHIP PAN: The patrol car is almost upon them when... in a
          seemingly suicidal manoeuvre Balthasar throws his car into a
          right-angle turn across four lanes of oncoming traffic.
          Horns blare.

          
          CUT TO: A skidding, squealing, out of control sedan, braking
          to avoid collision.

          
          Miraculously, Balthasar's vehicle shoots out of it its path
          and onto the other side of the roadway.

          
          The sedan slams into the following patrol car.

          

          EXT. DRIVEWAY. NIGHT.


          
          Balthasar's car speeds into the driveway of the Verona Beach
          Eternal Rest Cemetery.

          

          INT. CHOPPER. NIGHT.


          
          Captain Prince scans the night time city below. He speaks
          to the pilot and the chopper banks sharply.

          

          EXT. CEMETERY. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: A stone angel etched against the night sky.

          
          PAN DOWN: Romeo pulls a crowbar from the trunk of the parked
          car. Police sirens sound in the distance.

          
          Romeo eyes Balthasar intently.

          

           ROMEO
           Upon thy life, whatever thou

           HEAREST
           Or seest, stand all aloof. Give me
           the light -

          
          Balthasar stands motionless - Romeo rips the torch from his
          hands and strides into the cemetery. Balthasar follows.

          

           BALTHASAR
           I do beseech you...

          
          Romeo turns, punching Balthasar hard; he goes down, blood
          spurting from his nose.

          

           ROMEO
           Do not interrupt me in my course or
           By heaven I will tear thee joint by

           JOINT
           And strew this hungry churchyard
           with thy limbs!

          
          Balthasar slowly rises. Both boys are trying hard not to cry.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           The time and my intents are savage
           wild,
           More fierce and more inexorable far
           Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.

          

           BALTHASAR
           I will be gone and not trouble ye.

          
          Romeo smiles.

          

           ROMEO
           So shalt thou show me friendship.

          
          They embrace as Romeo whispers.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Live, and be prosperous; and
           farewell, good fellow.

          

          EXT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: A crowbar wrenches at ornate glass and iron doors.

          
          PULL BACK: The Gothic structure of the mausoleum rears
          against the night sky. Romeo frenziedly attacks the gates
          of the small side chapel.

          

           ROMEO
           Thou detestable maw, thou womb of
           death,
           Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to
           open.

          
          With a final heave the doors scrape open.

          
          Silence.

          
          ROMEO'S P.O.V.: An endless marble corridor lit by hundreds
          of tiny flickering eternal flames.

          
          CLOSE ON: Romeo. He murmurs:

           ROMEO
           In despite I'll cram thee with more
           food.

          
          Suddenly a hurricane wind and whirr of machinery: like a
          huge black insect, Captain Prince's chopper swoops down over
          the mausoleum.

          
          Romeo is caught in the glare of the chopper's burning arc
          light. Sirens scream, police units race through the cemetery.
          Blinded, Romeo fires wildly toward the chopper.

          
          The police cars screech to a halt.

          
          CLOSE ON: A police marksman in the chopper. His finger
          squeezes the rifle trigger.

          
          BANG! A bullet slams into Romeo's shoulder. The other cops
          open fire and Romeo is sent reeling backwards into the
          mausoleum in a fusillade of bullets.

          

          INT. CHOPPER. NIGHT.


          
          An angry Captain Prince bellows into the radio.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Hold! Hold!

          
          The police hold their fire.

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          Bleeding from the shoulder wound, Romeo drags shut the heavy
          double doors of the chapel. He bangs off three shots
          through a pane of broken glass and screams at the police.

          

           ROMEO
           Stand all aloof!

          

          EXT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          Outside the chopper hovers. Police take up siege positions.
          Captain Prince's voice echoes through the bullhorn.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Romeo, come forth, come forth.

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          Romeo uses the crowbar to wedge the doors shut. He bangs
          off another shot as he yells out at the Police.

          

           ROMEO
           Tempt not a desperate man!

          
          Romeo waits. There is no response from the cops.

          

          INT. CHOPPER. NIGHT.


          
          As the chopper settles to earth, Captain Prince speaks into
          the radio.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Bring forth these enemies Montague
           and Capulet.

          

          INT. PRIEST'S CAR. NIGHT.


          
          Orange rescue lights reflect through the windshield of the
          priest's car as it crawls past the crashed sedan and police
          vehicle.

          
          Father Laurence thumps the steering wheel in frustration.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Saint Francis be my speed tonight!

          
          Across the road Police swarm around the entrance to the
          cemetery.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Fear comes upon me.
           O, much I fear some ill unthrifty
           thing.

          
          HOLD ON: The green glow of the car clock as the seconds
          pulse away.

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          TRACK: Down the marble corridor lit by the eternal flames.

          
          DISCOVER: Romeo. He weakly stands at the entrance to the
          viewing chapel.

          
          The chapel is dark.

          
          As Romeo's eyes adjust he can just see, picked out by a
          shaft of blue moonlight, the glowing figure of a sleeping
          girl. He moves down the aisle past the tombs of long-dead
          Capulets.

          
          Romeo is close now. He halts as if in the presence of an
          unbelievable vision. He lights a match and the room glows
          gold. The warm light reveals a Juliet even more beautiful
          in seeming death.

          
          Romeo lights some of the hundreds of candles that surround
          her.

          

           ROMEO
           O my love, my wife,
           Death, that hath sucked the honey
           of thy breath,
           Hath had no power yet upon thy
           beauty,
           Thou art not conquered. Beauty's
           ensign yet
           Is crimson in thy lips and in thy
           cheeks,
           And death's pale flag is not
           advanced there.

          
          Romeo kneels close, as if not wanting to wake a sleeping
          child. Unconscious tears fall from his eyes as he whispers.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Ah, dear Juliet, why art thou yet
           so fair?
           Shall I believe that unsubstantial

           DEATH
           Is amorous and keeps thee here in

           DARK
           To be his paramour? For fear of

           THAT
           I still will stay with thee. Here,
           oh here
           Will I set up my everlasting rest
           And shake the yoke of inauspicious

           STARS
           From this world-wearied flesh.

          
          He lays himself close.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           Eyes, look your last.
           Arms, take your last embrace. And,
           lips, O you
           The doors of breath, seal with a
           righteous kiss...

          
          Gently Romeo kisses Juliet's lips. Ever so slightly,
          Juliet's hand moves - Romeo does not notice.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           A dateless bargain to engrossing
           death.

          
          Romeo drinks from the vial; the power of the compound is
          immediate. He convulses and falls, his head resting on
          Juliet.

          

           ROMEO (CONT.)
           (fighting for breath)
           O true apothecary, thy drugs are
           quick.

          
          Behind Romeo's head we can see Juliet's eyes opening. Romeo
          sucks the last few breaths of life into his lungs. Through
          a blurry consciousness Juliet becomes aware of Romeo.

          

           JULIET
           Oh Romeo, what's here?

          
          Forcing herself up, she cradles his head in her arms.
          Romeo's clear wide eyes stare back, he is completely still
          but for the sound of weak breaths desperately drawn across
          motionless lips.

          
          Juliet finds the vial clenched in Romeo's hand. Tears slip
          from her eyes.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           Drunk all, and left
           No friendly drop to help me after.
           I will kiss thy lips.
           Haply some poison yet doth hang on

           THEM
           To make me die with a restorative.

          
          She delicately kisses Romeo's lips.

          

           JULIET (CONT.)
           (a heart-broken whisper)
           Thy lips are warm.

          
          Desperately the lovers cling to each other. With all his
          desire to stay alive, Romeo whispers:

          

           ROMEO
           Thus with a kiss I die.

          
          There is no breath. He is still. Silence. Sobbing, Juliet
          hugs the lifeless Romeo to her.

          

           JULIET
           Romeo. O' my true love Romeo.

          
          She looks to the gun in his hand.

          

          EXT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          TRACK: Quickly past Captain Prince and the Capulets taking
          cover behind a patrol car.

          
          Two police officers urgently convey Montague and his wife
          toward them.

          
          Discover Father Laurence arriving.

          
          CUT TO: Father Laurence's P.O.V.: Patrol cars, lights
          flashing, surround the mausoleum.

          
          He sees, through the open door of a police car, a hand-
          cuffed youth. It is Balthasar. Father Laurence hurries to
          him.

          
          It is dawning on Father Laurence.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Balthasar?

          

           BALTHASAR

           (DESPERATELY)
           I brought news of Juliet's death...
           And then in post came Romeo from

           MANTUA
           To this same place... to this same
           monument.

          
          CLOSE ON: Father Laurence.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           How long hath he been there?

          

           BALTHASAR
           Full half an hour.

          
          Father Laurence turns towards the mausoleum.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           Romeo.
           (a shock of realisation)
           The lady stirs...

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          TRACK SLOW TOWARD: Juliet: Sobbing uncontrollably she prises
          the gun from Romeo's hand.

          

          EXT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          Father Laurence, desperate, breaks through the police line
          and runs toward the mausoleum.

          
          CUT TO: The parents and Captain Prince.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           Hold! Go not forth!

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          Juliet turns the gun on herself.

          

          EXT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          CLOSE ON: Father Laurence, he screams as he mounts the
          mausoleum stairs.

          

           FATHER LAURENCE
           The lady stirs!

          
          CRACK! The sound of a single gun shot rips through the night.

          
          CUT TO: Captain Prince.

          
          CUT TO: The parents, a look of cold shock.

          
          CUT TO: The priest - his cry echoes through the night.

          

          INT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          Juliet lies peacefully on Romeo's chest. Her eyes awake. A
          wash of deep red blood floods across them both. As we move
          away from the forms of the two young lovers lit by a ring of
          candles, the police burst in, guns ready to resolve what has
          already been resolved. Continuing up, we pass through the
          glass dome of the viewing chapel, and over the building.

          

          EXT. MAUSOLEUM. NIGHT.


          
          There, huddled at the base of the Mausoleum steps, are the
          Montague and Capulet parents and Father Laurence.

          
          From high up we see Captain Prince emerge from the Mausoleum
          and speak to the group. A moment, then their cries float
          gently up.

          

          EXT. SKY. NIGHT.


          
          We are travelling high into the sky now. The cries of the
          parents and the buzz of radio calls fade to nothing.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH STREET - CHRIST ROUNDABOUT-FROM AIR. DAWN.


          
          As the sun struggled to rise, we push toward the figure of
          Jesus silently surveying the city.

          

          EXT. VERONA BEACH - CHRIST ROUNDABOUT. DAWN.


          
          As Jesus' face fills the screen, droplets of water begin to
          streak his cheeks.

          
          HOLD: Music swells; the droplets grow to a torrent, and a
          heavy rain begins to fall.

          
          For a long beat, we stay with this image.

          
          CRANE DOWN: From the Jesus. A sea of black umbrellas
          stretches back from the steps of Freedom Tower.

          

          EXT. FREEDOM TOWER. DAY.


          
          At the top of the steps are a pair of flower strewn caskets.
          Before the caskets stand Fulgencia and Gloria Capulet, and
          Ted and Caroline Montague. They stare with blank,
          uncomprehending sorrow.

          
          Among the crowd we see the distraught faces of Benvolio,
          Balthasar, Father Laurence and the Nurse.

          
          The caskets are gently slid into a pair of long black cars.
          Montague and Capulet descend the stairs. Captain Prince
          blocks their path. He holds them in his gaze.

          

           CAPTAIN PRINCE
           See what a scourge is laid upon
           your hate,
           That heaven finds means to kill
           your joys with love;
           And I, for winking at your discords
           too,
           Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All
           are punished.

          
          The Prince steps aside. The procession moves off. Montague
          and Capulet look to one another, a moment, and then the two
          adversaries together follow the bodies of their dead children.

          
          AERIAL SHOT: The rain falls. Two black cars lead the people
          of Verona Beach in a sorrowful parade.

          
          As the cars pass beneath the towering effigy of Jesus, the
          image pixilates into a television picture.

          
          PULL OUT: A TV anchor woman watches the image on a studio
          monitor.

          
          She turns:

          

           ANCHOR WOMAN
           (to camera)
           A glooming peace this morning with
           it brings:
           The sun for sorrow will not show
           his head.
           Go hence, to have more talk of
           these sad things.
           Some shall be pardoned, and some
           punished,
           For never was a story of more woe
           Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

          
          The anchor woman changes beat to the next story; but her
          dialogue fades, and her image gets smaller as the television
          recedes into a black distance.

          
          The music that reminds us most of these two lost lives
          swells. When the television is very small it is switched off.

          

          BLACK SCREEN. HOLD A BEAT.
          

          THE END



Romeo & Juliet



Writers :   William Shakespeare  Craig Pearce  Baz Luhrmann
Genres :   Crime  Drama  Romance


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