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An Analysis of the Opening Sequence of Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

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Introduction

An Analysis of the Opening Sequence of Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet By David Blick 10D In This essay, I am going to be analysing the opening sequence of Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. I will talk about the prologue, which is repeated three times, how it shows the seriousness of the conflict between the houses of Capulet and Montague and finally an analysis of the opening scene. This film directed by Baz Luhrmann's, it is an updated version from the original written by William Shakespeare and which was first performed in 1595. This interpretation was released in cinemas in 1997. Differences in Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet to that of the original by William Shakespeare that I have been able to notice are that swords become handguns manufactured by gunsmiths called "Sword", Romeo takes a mind-expanding drug before Capulet's ball and Mercutio is killed on a beach, with a sliver of glass, Baz Luhrmann's also cuts out Romeo's fight with Paris in Act 5 - so at the end of the play, amongst many other differences. After watching the opening sequence of Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Julie, I have been able to identify that these short scenes are made up of The Prologue which In Greek tragedy was a speech or brief scene preceding the entrance of the chorus and the main action of the play. ...read more.

Middle

There are helicopters above, the sound from which is echoed throughout the prologue. In the now fast-moving version of the prologue we are shown images of some of the characters in Romeo & Juliet, such as Romeo being hunted down and eventually surrounded by the police. The black choir boy displays to us his innocence through his voice whilst depicting a sense of equality in the church. There is a child at the petrol station, which is dressed as though he has just come out of, or is on his way to church, he is dressed in a black suit and is then shocked as the sight of violence as he and his guardian vacate the petrol station. Throughout this version of the prologue there are images of guns and the shots being fired from them, violence on the streets of Verona, which now appears to be a bizarre contrast between rundown Miami and a city in Mexico? Finally we are met with images of police and their presence in Verona city, these 9images demonstrate the American iconography of the policeman, as they are all dressed in American police uniforms. The screen then switches between images of violence and fear to newspaper cuttings that depict the words previously said in the prologue. the constant changing between still and moving images, along with the sound of the helicopter and other background noise including the now extremely loud dramatic music help towards creating a great deal of tension in which one has to struggle to find ones breath after the prologue has finished, as in my opinion it is breath-taking. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, I think it was difficult for Luhrmann to create the rest of the movie after such a good start but I think he has conveyed the dramatic impact of the prologue during Act 1, Scene 1 by showing just how terrible the feud between the houses of Capulet and Montague was, in this case I mean hurting people who are not even involved in the fight, such as the little white boy, who was dressed in black, the nun's etc. I personally think that the targeted audience for this film is for people aged 15 - 30 years old, as some of the violence would be too much for the smaller children, to take in and mostly the language and sense of this story would confuse them whereas if you showed it to an older person over 30 they would probably be more interested in a calm love story with not so much violence. In my opinion, the opening scenes to this film were portrayed as an insight to the rest of the film. I see the representation of the prologues as a beginning middle and end, but as the first act and first scene come up, I feel as if the whole film has started again but from a different angle. I also think Luhrmann took on a great task and that was to re-enacting Shakespeare's greatest love story and that Baz Luhrmann has achieved this task successfully. 2,615 words David Blick Romeo & Juliet 1 ...read more.

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