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Critically discuss the presentation of the opening of Baz Lurhmann film adaptation of ' Romeo and Juliet'

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Unit of work: Media Source: ' Romeo and Juliet' Directed by Baz Lurhman Title: Critically discuss the presentation of the opening of Baz Lurhmann film adaptation of ' Romeo and Juliet' In 1997, Baz Lurhmann adapted a modern stylish version of ' Romeo and Juliet' which was originally made in the 16th century. Using certain techniques, Baz Lurhmann has made this modified version thrilling and unforgettable. Throughout this essay I will analyse the different techniques Baz Lurhman has used to make this film adaptation effective. Set in Los Angeles, there are two rivals, the Montague's and the Capulates. Being the most powerful and well known enemies in Los Angeles they create war and dispute. The scene is set in Los Angeles, in a small suburb. The town itself is modern and stylish. Lurhman uses Mis en scene to convey meaning. In the first shot you see the Montague boys driving down town in a cheap looking yellow convertible, with the boys wearing bright Hawaiian shirts. One of the boys has a pink hair cut and whilst driving, they are screaming out the back of the car. Each of the boys have tattoos and wild hair. From this the audience feels a sense of humour and comical feeling that these boys are like 'frat' boys. Whilst joking about, they seem mad and wild, they're 'wanabe' gangsters but are just completely foolish. ...read more.


This introduces tension and brings focus to the viewers as the shot has frozen therefore the audience will be aware that this could be someone important. In contrast to this Lurhmann uses shot transitions to demonstrate effect. He does this by using speed and style. The scene before the edit when the Montague boys are in the car, and the camera is focussed at them from the back, slowly moves to focussing on the Montague boys' licence plate. The effect this has is an exciting opening and shows detail to the number plate without to much tension and the atmosphere seems calm, however, on the other hand, when we see the Capulates silver plated teeth, the speed from moving onto the next edit, which shows the Montague falling back into the car, is fast. This creates tension, and a fast rush; it shows danger and a sense of fear. Another technique that Lurhmann uses in the scene is dramatic lightening and colour. An example of this is a shot of the Montague boys wearing bright colours which contrast to objects around them for example the colour door at the petrol station was the same as the Montague boys car and shirts. The effect this has suggests a non dangerous feeling and comical as these colours don't represent danger but possibly innocence . ...read more.


This can introduce an exciting and tense feeling. By using all theses techniques, it makes the scene more stylish and definitely makes the audience want to watch more. Throughout the opening scene Lurhmann has created deep meaning by using several stylish techniques. He has adapted this newer version of ' Romeo and Juliet' to convey a stronger meaning whereas the audience today are not as likely to understand the older version and would find it tedious, as the older version used black and white colouring, swords and knifes, whereas on the other hand this adapted version uses colour and guns etc. Also none of these techniques were used back then as they weren't even invented. The audience understand today's world; guns, fast cars, modern scenery etc and find it more appealing and tense, and Lurhmann has adapted this and made sure he had made it modern and stylish. I think Capulates act throughout the scene and their style was extremely effective and when they brought the guns into it the tension really built up. This is because Capulates dark contrasting colours, effective speech and guns made them mysterious and sinister, and when the two rivals fought strong effect and tension was introduced. However Lurhmann has made sure that the opening is not to serious, where he brings the Montague boys into the scene, who give a non serious feeling and a humorous effect. Laura Pidding 10k2 ...read more.

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