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Examine the techniques used by Baz Luhrmann in “Romeo + Juliet” to engage, interest and excite the audience.

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Introduction

Examine the techniques used by Baz Luhrmann in "Romeo + Juliet" to engage, interest and excite the audience. The 1996 Baz Luhrmann film, "Romeo and Juliet" begins in complete silence and uses a black establishing shot. This is to grab the attention of the audience in a subtle, yet effective way. The silence intrigues the viewer, as it is unusual in a film to have such pauses, It is a great for atmosphere or tension. A television is then shown in the centre of the screen. The television is relatively old and has disruption. The television produces the impression that the film is in a new or in a modern style and therefore interests the viewer. This contradiction of old and new is interesting and tends to allow the film to be interesting for both young and old. After a matter of seconds the television is as if by magic switched on and a woman appears on the screen. The woman on the television screen is in a news report; this television broadcast is used to engage a modern audience. The woman is reading the prologue of the original play. The camera gradually zooms toward the television to create dramatic tension or a climax. When the woman is drawing to the close of her broadcast the camera zooms at an incredible speed as if going through the television screen and into the city of Verona, it then zooms through Verona to finish with a mid shot of a large skyscraper in the middle of the city. ...read more.

Middle

The character is then introduced with a freeze frame and a caption of the name. This caption is used to remind the audience who this person is. The more that the audience feel they know, the more they will feel at ease with the film. This then creates a sense of comfort and the viewer can enjoy the film more. This tracking up the person creates excitement as the audience is left guessing as to what their facial appearance is like. When the audience is presented with the face it is almost glaring which then engages the audience's interest as they are wondering why this boy is so angry. Seeing the Capulets the Montague boys seem to get excited and nervous, this make the audience feel almost nervous as by now the audience should have sided with the Montague boys. The leader of the Montague boys is in the toilet and the boys cannot leave until the leader has finished. The Montague boys talk to each other quickly asking each other if they should talk to the Capulets or not. Eventually a Montague "Bites his thumb" at a Capulet. The Capulet comes over to sort out what exactly the Montague meant by his remark. This makes the audience quietly hope for some kind of Montague triumph. The Montague leader returns from the toilet. He realizes that Tybalt is at the gas station. There are a series of extreme close-ups that flash from Tybalts, to Benvolios eyes. ...read more.

Conclusion

This boy is left in some dripping petrol on the floor; Tybalt then drops his cigarette into a puddle of this oil in slow motion to create tension. The puddle of oil is on top of some tarmac, which has holes or worn away strips in the shape of a cross. This is a reference to the catholic religion of the Capulet family. The Montague boy realizes that he is about to go up in flames and clambers up and sets of in a run to reach the car. Then there is a shot of the gas station going up in flames and loud choral music is played, this is used to represent hell. As this fire and choral music is played and there is a huge crescendo in tension a helicopter is shown to be hovering above this fighting. The helicopter noises are usually a reference to the Vietnam War. The end shot of the scene, Tybalt and Benvolio are parallel to each other on the ground underneath the helicopter with the "Prince" or Chief of Police inside it commanding the two men to drop their weapons. As Benvolio and Tybalt raise their hands to drop their guns it is almost as if they are worshipping the Helicopter. This is to show that throughout everything the "Prince" always has supreme power over the violent actions of the families. Benvolio and Tybalt drop their guns simultaneously in slow motion, as this happens the music thuds and then stops abruptly to illustrate that the fighting has finished and so has the scene, it is also for attention and suspense to keep the audience wondering what is coming next. Kimberley Donovan-Taylor ...read more.

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