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Baz Luhrmann's version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - review.

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Introduction

Media Essay - Romeo and Juliet Baz Luhrmann's version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is hugely appealing to the modern audience in various ways. In order to make it appealing to the modern audience, he (Baz Luhrmann had to re-write the play in a sexy, crazy and rambunctious way. Baz Luhrmann keeps the language from the original text but changes the setting and costumes as well as other various things. At the start of the film Baz Luhrmann uses a Television to grasp the audiences' attention. The size of the TV zooms outwards until it is almost the size of the frame itself. There is nothing but pitch black behind the TV so it doesn't distract the audience and leaves them to only concentrate on the events that are being read out. By using a newsflash to present the prologue, Baz Luhrmann makes the events seem factual. He also uses a female newsreader to read the prologue, which appeals to the modern audience because at the time women might not have been on the news as reporters. The Newsreader reads out the prologue as if it were breaking news. This tells us that it is a very serious matter and underlines the fame and popularity of the two feuding families. ...read more.

Middle

The image of the skyscrapers appeals to the modern audience because we are used to seeing them in cities and we understand the power struggles between financial giants. The image shown in the next frame is of a police car with Verona Beach written on the side. This is effective because Baz Luhrmann obviously modified his version by adding a car, which was definitely not used in Shakespeare's original. He also changes the name to Verona Beach instead of Verona, which is a modern name and the name of a certain place rather than the city itself. Baz Luhrmann's inclusion of a police car has made it even more appealing to the modern audience because we are used to seeing them every time trouble starts somewhere. In this case it is the famous feud between Montagues' and Capulets'. Baz Luhrmann then goes on to add a Helicopter to show the seriousness of the events that have occurred. The Helicopter again is appealing to the modern audience because at the time a Helicopter would definitely not have been used and we are also used to seeing these. Helicopters are often called upon when the situation gets totally out of hand. Baz Luhrmann situation gets totally out of hand. Baz Luhrmann adds the Helicopter to show severe violence. ...read more.

Conclusion

This again relates to Romeo and Juliet who took their won lives to keep the peace between their houses. The T in this text Symbolises religion which plays role in their lives. This could also show that religion has driven them apart. When introducing the characters Baz Luhrmann adds first names to the Montagues' and Capulets to Modernise it a bit. In this frame is a picture of Dave Paris, the governor's son who the Capulet family want Juliet to marry. The introduction of the Character is very neatly done. Baz Luhrmann uses Juxtaposition when he doesn't include the introduction of the main characters. The exclusion of Romeo and Juliet leaves the audience guessing and wondering what they are going to look like. Obviously they'd have to be good looking to play the main characters in a modern film aimed at Teenage audience. So the audience will easily recognise them when they appear. Baz Luhrmann uses fireworks after Romeo and Juliet's meeting to show immediate attraction between them and the excitement and confusion. At the beginning when Tybalt points the gun at the little kid, it shows that little kids are also involved in this feud. At the title 'Romeo and Juliet' the cross is there to show that religion is separating them. The soundtrack at the beginning is classical music and gives the impression that a war is taking place. It clearly suits the prologue, it is dramatic and operatic, it accompanies the scenes effectively. ...read more.

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