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In Baz Luhrmanns's "Romeo and Juliet", how does he create an appropriate atmosphere and ensure the plot is accessible to a modern audience? "Romeo & Juliet", was written in 1599 by William Shakespeare and is one of his most famous plays. It has been performed thousands of times since it was originally written. The play is an Elizabethan tragedy of 2 lovers, "Romeo and Juliet". In 1997, Baz Luhrmann directed a modern remake of this same play. He has made the film accessible to a modern audience and developed an appropriate atmosphere. The film begins with an extreme long shot of a television, and the background noise of a video playing. A news-style reporter appears on the screen and begins to read the chorus. Instantly, the viewer becomes familiar with the news-reader, making it accessible to a modern audience. Also, the newsreader is communicating to the viewer in a very conversational manner. As the reader reaches the end of the chorus, it appears to suck the viewer into the screen. Synchronized sound is also used at this point as a fast forward sound is played. As the film progresses we cut to an establishing shot of modern "Verona", the camera very rapidly zooms in as if travelling down the street of a modern city. ...read more.


As the chorus continues to be read, a still picture of a family tree in a newspaper like fashion appears on screen. As this happens the camera begins to zoom out as the shot dissolves into a mass of flames. Almost instantly the flames fade into another newspaper with the headline "Montague vs. Capulet". These flames combined with the headline symbolises antagonism, death and destruction. These last two features are something we are very aware of in our modern society, making it very accessible to a modern audience and also creating an appropriate atmosphere for the rest of film. Following on from this synchronised sound is used, as the voice-over reads "in fair Verona"; it appears clearly in black & white on the screen. Continuing on from this the same technique is used for the words "ancient grudge" and also "new mutiny". The way that the director has used several ways to portray the chorus makes it very accessible to a modern audience as it ensures we know exactly what it is saying, by reinforcing information. By this point the "voice-over" repeat of the chorus has finished. The camera begins to pan round then abruptly cuts to a shot of the police chief's face; then a shot of the word "police"; and finally a shot of a scene of violence, death and destruction. ...read more.


Secondly, the use of repetition and the variety of the delivery of the chorus. The use repetition is incredibly effective, as it constantly reminds us exactly what is being said both through auditory and visual effects. The director has effectively used both sound and special visual effects to create effective atmosphere throughout the film. In parallel with camera effects, throughout the film the atmosphere has been made appropriate using five main features. Firstly the consistent atmosphere of: conflicts; violence; and war between the families. Secondly, the effective use of music which is written in a very choral, classical and yet modern style. The way it picks up pace builds tension and excitement until the climax. As mentioned above, the news-style reporter is very familiar to us. Finally, the use of a modern futuristic setting really builds the atmosphere of intrigue. It gives the impression of a Gangland scene between the two families. In my opinion, this section has been made both accessible to a modern audience and used an appropriate atmosphere. Thus Baz Luhrmunn has successfully achieved his aim, to make a Shakespeare play understandable to a younger audience, more modern audience, by bringing the story into a modern and more easily relatable environment. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Mike Mason ...read more.

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