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How does the opening few minutes of Baz Luhrmann's film "Romeo and Juliet" effect the audience? Describe how the use of modern medium and the director's approach to filming and editing are used, to engage the audience in Shakespeare's famous play.

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Introduction

How does the opening few minutes of Baz Luhrmann's film "Romeo and Juliet" effect the audience? Describe how the use of modern medium and the director's approach to filming and editing are used, to engage the audience in Shakespeare's famous play. Since the play "Romeo and Juliet" was first written it has moved through the times so that it appeals to a modern audience. Baz Luhrmann brought the play "Romeo and Juliet" into modern times in the form of a film. The film is staged in the fictional, yet contemporary, Verona Beach, a mesmerising blend of Miami and Rio. It is very effective, because it relates to a modern audience. The film is made to relate to a modern audience because of the use of guns, gangs, news reporters, dialogue and many other things to support the reading of moving images, which are analysed. In the film Baz Luhrmann uses a variety of techniques to make it effective. He changes the shot types numerous times throughout the opening scene. Film language is based around the concept of the shot, which is the smallest element of the film. A shot is a continuos sequence of images. Framing can vary according to the main subject of the shot. Baz Luhrmann uses long shots, medium shots, medium close ups, close ups and high angle and low angle shots, all which add to the way we read the film. ...read more.

Middle

So it represents fire, which represents anger between the two families, this could be a hint that something will happen, and it raises the tension. Dialogue and voice over in the film give the audience clues about the characters and the audience information about what is happening in the play. In the prologue at the beginning of the film it is done using a news reporter on the television so that the audience can relate to the film. It is read like a modern news report so that the audience can understand and so that they are informed of what is going to happen. The voice over repeats the prologue to emphasise what is going to happen in the film and to inform the audience of the story with clips of the film being shown at the same time. This would have been done in editing at the end of the film. The voice over is done seriously to capture the tragedy that is going to follow. From the Montague boys language the audience learn that they are childish and immature as they use sexual innuendoes towards the nuns. Before the Capulets arrive they speak boastfully and loudly, whereas when they arrive they speak very quickly and appear very unsure of themselves, to show that they feel intimidated by the Capulets. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience gets the impression that the feud is over religion or money because of the architecture. Tall buildings named after the Montagues and Capulets are shown and religious statues and casinos. The body language and facial expressions of the characters add to the effect the play has on the audience. Tybalt throughout the scene is portrayed to the audience as calm. You can see him talking through his teeth, suggesting that he is trying to hold back the anger that is building up. Costumes, hairstyles and makeup furthermore help the audience to see what the characters are like. The Montagues are wearing bright colours with fair hair showing that they are fun loving and young lads. Whereas the Capulets are darkly dressed with dark hair, suggesting that they always start the fights. Finally one of the Montagues has a black eye which shows the audience that there have been past fights. The opening few minutes of Baz Luhrmanns play has a positive affect on the audience. The film is modern, so the audience can relate to it, because the soundtracks and the idea of skate punk Vs Spanish clean cut appeals to the young people of today. Also people can identify with the film and the way it was directed helps the audience to understand what is happening and draw conclusions on the characters, before the film has introduced them properly. Helen Payton ...read more.

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