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To what extent do you feel Baz Luhrmann is successful in making Romeo & Juliet accessible to a modern audience?

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Introduction

To what extent do you feel Baz Luhrmann is successful in making Romeo & Juliet accessible to a modern audience? In this essay I am going to write about how successfully Baz Luhrmann has made his film Romeo and Juliet accessible to a modern audience. Baz Luhrmann uses Shakespeare's authentic text combining it with a modern setting. This combination attracts the off spring of the modern age. That is the reason why Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet has been successful. It has made a profit of 11.133 million dollars, reached the top of box-office and has been awarded quite a lot of Oscars. The opening scene of the film shows a newsreader reading Shakespeare's original prologue. At this point the camera zooms in as the newsreader reads the prologue in a news form. This is effective because the screen then seems to focus on the newsreader more and so the audience pays more attention to it. This creates a concentration without any distraction for the audience to focus on the picture and make them listen or see the prologue. It is presented as news to make the audience think it is factual and important. It is also shown as breaking news, which shows the impact of the two feuding families. ...read more.

Middle

The violence makes us think about the enmity between the two families. After that the camera flies through the skyscrapers to show us a glimpse of Verona Beach very swiftly. This swift feeling should be very familiar to young people. They are going to relate this to flight simulator games and feel that they are part of it. They will feel excited because of the speed as usually modern audiences like swift and fast activities relating to their advanced fast gaming on their consoles. Baz Luhrmann uses the image of fire burning photos of the two families. This creates an image of destruction. Fire is a very powerful element and it is effective here because it shows that there are a lot of battles, destruction and chaos in Verona Beach and that the two families just want to get rid of each other. This is because an ancient grudge that has gone on and on. This can be stopped by forgetting what has happened in the past and starting the relationship between the families fresh. But they do not understand this and are determined to follow the footsteps of their ancestors. Original quotes from the prologue such as 'Civil blood makes civil hands unclean' are shown by Baz Luhrmann as newspaper headlines. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fast music shows us the fact that there is tension and fast activities going on and the situation is very chaotic. He also uses certain sound effects to help us relate the sound with the music. These sound effects include the police siren, gunshots, people shouting, helicopters and fire burning. All the sound effects are essential and they add on to the kind of situation the audiences feel they are in. The kind of audience Baz Luhrmann has targeted for this film is a modern one. This film is made for the youngsters of the modern age, it helps them feel more involved in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet and also develop an interest in them about the play. The film would appeal to the audience because of the modern images such as skyscrapers, modern swift camera angles and shots, modern fast soundtrack and sound effects such as police siren, gunshots and also modern proms such as guns, helicopters and police cars are natural to them. All these devices would leave the new generation thinking Romeo and Juliet isn't that boring after all. I think that Luhrmann has very successfully adapted the text for a modern audience whilst remaining faithful to Shakespeare's original text making it accessible to a modern audience to a very high extent. GCSE Romeo and Juliet English Coursework Abid Rasheek Amin 10S 20300 Ms. Basson Room 103 Page 1 ...read more.

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