• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does the opening sequence of "Romeo and Juliet" try to capture audience interest and establish the genre and themes of the film?

Extracts from this document...


Kate Graham How does the opening sequence of "Romeo and Juliet" try to capture audience interest and establish the genre and themes of the film? "Romeo and Juliet" has a very effective opening sequence, the first four minutes set the story of the movie, giving you an idea of what's to come. "Romeo & Juliet" is believed to have been written around 1595 by William Shakespeare. The story is about a pair of star-crossed lovers. Two teenagers pursue their love for each other despite the fact that their families have been at odds with each other for decades. It is directed by Baz Lurhman who immediately captures the audience's attention whilst establishing the film's genre and themes using different methods. Baz Lurhman uses lighting and colour to capture the audience's interest. "Romeo and Juliet" starts with a black background and a Television coming closer to the camera with a newsreader. The black focuses the audience's attention onto the newsreader and what she's saying. Colour symbolism plays a key part in this film and is already demonstrated by the newsreader. The reporter wears red perhaps signaling love, danger and passion. Behind the newsreader is a sky blue screen, giving a feeling of coldness. Also Capulet and Montague are associated with red and blue. Colour symbolism is also demonstrated a lot in the opening sequence with grey, white, black, blue and red being the most common colours used. ...read more.


Editing is an essential part of the opening sequence to attract the audience's attention. The director Baz Lurhman edits the opening shots of the movie so the audience are introduced to the plot and characters (apart from Romeo and Juliet) before the film even begins. Jump shots are used at a very fast pace to reflect the speed of events in the play. There are variable scene lengths used to focus the audiences attention e.g. some scenes are long like when introducing characters compared to the shorter scenes when fast clips are shown of violence. Shots are interchanged very quickly e.g. shots of the statues which are then relegated to the background in a way the director is setting themes in context for the audience. Scenes of pure text and visuals are also used to reinforce messages through different perspectives e.g. dialogue, newspaper or action etc. as different people take in information in different ways. In a way it is the directors way of getting people to keep up with what is happening in the film. Baz Lurhman also uses mis-en-scene to help capture the audience's attention and establish genres and themes of the film. Shots are often straight and centered to emphasise things clearly e.g. the statue of Jesus in closed into but is shown dwarfed by skyscrapers maybe showing a theme of religion versus business. ...read more.


Mercutio is also made different when introduced, he is a different race from everyone else indicating his uniqueness as he is showing true emotion at the same time. He is shown on a dry, isolated landscape demonstrating his distant from the involvement of the feud taking place in the city. Another key character in the introduction is the police officer; he is shown involved in the middle of the action, but is wearing a uniform signifying authority and discipline. There is also colour symbolism involved in the characters, Romeo's mother has red hair, which may be an indication of her personality as people with red hair are said to be more passionate and quick tempered. This is also the case with clothing, the father's of Romeo and Juliet show no emotion and are dressed normally, but with the mother's of Romeo and Juliet although they show no emotion on their face but it is portrayed through their clothing. The mother's clothing tends to be more flamboyant and colourful indicating to the audience distress. Baz Lurhman effectively captures the audience's attention throughout the opening scene using all these different methods. At one point in the opening scene you are shown an aerial view of the city and I feel that this is an essential scene. After the aerial view of the city is shown a violent, busy, intimidating clip of modern street life within the city is shown demonstrating that the city is complex and dangerous. Even though "Romeo and Juliet" is four hundred years old, it still relates to modern society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet essays

  1. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    (act 1 scene 5)This was used lot in Shakespeare plays. What also added to the tension is that the ball has been set up for the announcement of pairs proposing to Juliet "LADY CAPULET: marry, that 'marry' is the very theme I came to talk of.

  2. Comment on how Baz Luhrmann uses video and audio techniques to communicate themes and ...

    The movements are menacingly slow, so calm and cool. Then suddenly a loud hissing sound like a serpent as Abra snarls revealing the word sin engraved on a silver plaque on his teeth. The camera is at a straight close up angle.

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

    This is to release tension and draw attention to certain important images or moments. One image that is shot is that of a gas station sign creaking in the wind. At this point in the scenes there is complete silence around this sign.

  2. What techniques does Baz Luhrman the director of the 1997 film "Romeo ...

    In contrast to this at the petrol station, when there was an intriguing sign "Add fuel to your fire" the camera zooms in.

  1. The two directors Baz Lurhman and Zefferelli both presented the style, pace, tone and ...

    It flashes us clips about the city and the impressions the viewers are giving about Verona Beach is that the place is not a safe place to be.

  2. Compare and contrast the opening sequence of the Luhrman and Zeffirelli film versions of ...

    the fire," this is very ironic seeing as there is going to be a huge fire. There is another funny moment, again situated in the petrol station, when an old lady is hitting one of the Montague boys with her handbag.

  1. Compare how Shakespeare and Luhramann engage the audience and set up the play's theme ...

    Both of the Capulet servants Sampson and Gregory are in a chatting about their enemies. During this discussions Shakespeare holds the audiences attention through using some puns and bawdy humour "Tis true and therefore women being the weaker vessels are thrust to the wall, and thrust his maids", this kind

  2. How effectively does Shakespeare use scene 1 to introduce the main themes in 'Romeo ...

    The History of this particular story goes back even further, to a Greek author names Xenophon. Whilst re-writing this particular storyline Shakespeare decided he was writing the play for different reasons to the ones Brook had used. Arthur Brook wrote the poem to 'warn young people of the dangers of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work