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An Analysis of Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of 'Romeo and Juliet'.

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An Analysis of Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of 'Romeo and Juliet' In Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo and Juliet', he reestablishes the well known Italian tragedy, in the modern day setting of 'Verona Beach', to the despair of some critics, and to the delight of others. While some called it the best film of the century, others loathed it, claiming Luhrmann's construction was 'too modern', changing the storyline completely. In my opinion, Luhrmann was successful in creating a film, which is familiar and modern, helping audiences make sense of the story, while staying true to the play's original meaning. The film allows Luhrmann to show the world the possibilities of cinema, using an array of cinematic techniques to bring new meaning to the play. Nothing in the film is by chance. From wide-shots to close-ups, the use of well-known operas over pop music-everything has been chosen by the director for a specific purpose. The Prologue begins with a small television screen in the middle of the screen which immediately focus' ones attention, with a newscaster reading Shakespeare's original Prologue, as though it were a piece of ordinary, everyday news-the audience half-expects her to say 'More on that story later' in the same tone. The News and Media is a theme used several times by Baz Luhrmann in the film as a way of communicating information. ...read more.


Making the party a costume ball also allows for the audience to see more of the characters personalities. For example, Gloria Capulet is dressed head-to-toe in gold, as Cleopatra, whereas her daughter, in stark contrast, is an angel in a simple white dress, pulled tightly across her chest to exaggerate her flat chest, and wings, with no make-up. After the party, Tybalt is itching for a fight, a chance to reestablish himself after nursing his wounded ego, and he travels to Verona Beach, where the Montague Boys are. Mercutio, Romeos best friend, is with Benvolio, Romeos cousin, shooting at fish. To some, this may show the instability of his mind. The Montague's are rather unkempt, with Hawaiian style shirts slipped casually over their gun holsters. The Montague's, while being prepared for fighting, are not as aching for it as the Capulet's are. The music that begins playing once the Capulets turn up in their silver convertible is typical of a spaghetti western. They approach the Montague's, and Mercutio mocks them in a round about way, by making witty comments about them. While Mercutio seems to be in high spirits, you can see fear in Benvolio's face, not necessarily of the situation but of the repercussions. The movement of the camera, going from Benvolio's terrified face, to Mercutio's mocking one, plus the music, all adds up to a sense of tension. ...read more.


Mrs. Capulet is a trophy wife, with bleach blonde hair and a Texan accent who smokes, drinks and pops pills. Once again we see that the glamour of Verona Beach and the people in it is not as attractive as it first appears. The scene in which we see Mrs. Capulet taking pills and drinking scotch, it is sped up to make it seem comic. Mrs. Capulet is such a stereo-typical trophy wife, she is not to be taken seriously. Juliet, in contrast to her mother, is very plain. Even the gun, Juliet threatens to kill herself with is plain black, while Tybalt's has an image of the Virgin Mary. All these gives give an impression of purity and innocence. Romeo is played by the Hollywood heartthrob of the time, Leonardo Di'Caprio. He, too has floppy hair, but is not as clean cut as Dave Paris. He, like the rest of the Montague's, appears in an open Hawaiian shirt, and even when he appears in a suit, the neck is open and he looks slightly disheveled. Romeo has been made to look like the romantic rogue, and quite rebellious. If he had been a more clean-cut character, turned to killing by grief, it may have made more of an impact on the audience. However, had Baz Luhrmann followed this route, Romeo may not have been believable. Neither of the title characters are seen in the film until after the Prologue. 1 ...read more.

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