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Baz Luhrman - Find out the challenges he faced and how he solved them and say how successful he was in making the script work for a modern audience.

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Introduction

Shakespeare Media Assignment: Romeo and Juliet In the film "Romeo and Juliet", Baz Luhrman said that he was trying to recreate the impact of the original Elizabethan production for a modern mass audience. I am trying to find out the challenges he faced and how he solved them and say how successful he was in making the script work for a modern audience. The problems faced by a modern director of "Romeo and Juliet" Shakespeare's original audience and theatre and the style and drama Shakespeare's original audience was made up of the whole social range. At one end of the social scale were the working people. These were known as the groundlings because they were poor. They paid less and so they had to stand up throughout the whole performance. Richer people were seated on galleries and also on the balcony. The Queen at that time (Queen Elizabeth I) also went to the theatre. The style of drama at that time would seem boring to a modern audience such as: the clothing, setting, sound, props. In those days the audience wanted action, this was shown at the beginning, also in act 3 scene 1 (between Romeo and Paris), the audience wanted high drama, violence and also comedy. The comedy that Shakespeare included in his play was quite rude e.g. act 1 scene 1 "maidenheads" also Mercutio was being sexually rude "knockabout", also the servants in act 1 scene 5 doing verbal wordplay such as the word "puns" was included. In those days this comedy was funny but now it is not known about and does not seem funny to us. The audience wanted romance which Shakespeare included through Romeo and Juliet and the passion created between them. The audience wanted blood, murder, bodies and the people who were murdered were Tybalt by Romeo, Paris by Romeo, Romeo and Juliet. In those days all actors were men, there was no scenery or lighting and if people in these days watched it then they would have been bored. ...read more.

Middle

Baz Luhrman uses familiar modern genres/styles to orientate the audience by using: car chases, this was because a car chase always happens if someone is really mad and in the film Romeo is gone angry because of Benvolio's death. In the play in the olden days this would have a sword fight where Romeo chases Tybalt and finally kills him. He has done this because he wanted to make the film more dramatic, modern and also interesting because if it was a sword chase when Romeo wants to kill Tybalt then it will be boring. Teen romance is used in the play because now in the modern days teenagers do have a girlfriend or boyfriend and in the olden days this would have been against the laws of the church because no one is allowed to kiss or sleep together before marriage. In the film they do kiss before marriage but the sleep after marriage. In the olden days they wouldn't have been allowed to meet each other as much as Romeo and Juliet did in Baz Luhrman's version. The music is quite modern including modern instruments. It is fast music when the both families meet but when Romeo and Juliet meet or in the church it is quiet and slow music. Baz Luhrman has used music to get the mood right and also to make it more dramatic. He breaks the language barrier by opening sequences at the beginning from the prologue. This introduces the viewer to the language and tells them what it is about. Baz Luhrman did this so that the film doesn't go straight on to it but it introduces the language, story, characters. Headlines repetition is also used to get the viewer to know the story and what has happened in the past. Baz Luhrman has done this very well because the newspaper headlines are fast and so this gives the impression to the viewer that there is a fight everyday or frequently between the two families. ...read more.

Conclusion

Baz Luhrman has done the last bit of the scene when Romeo runs off towards Tybalt as a picture because he wants to show his death and also revenge in one shot. There is some lighting included because when Mercutio is stabbed sudden darkness appears on the whole setting but it is more darker where the Capulets are. My own response I think Baz Luhrman was very successful in bringing back Romeo and Juliet in to the modern world and audience. He has achieved his aim which was to bring Shakespeare's plays back and present it to a modern audience. I think all the film was done well but I think the bit of the play where Romeo kills Tybalt in a car chase can be improved because it is dark and also fast and we can't really pick up what is going on. He has used setting, sound and camera very well to emphasize the film and also to create a dramatic effect. He has taken some parts out such as the death of Paris because this will make it more confusing for the audience and also the film was only to last for 115 minutes so if he added that scene then he wouldn't have been able to do the other scenes and if he did they wouldn't be much detailed and long. Overall I think Baz Luhrman has produced a very good and modern version of Romeo and Juliet. Evaluation In this essay I had to write about the media used in the film Romeo and Juliet especially act 3 scene 1 and I think I have achieved that. From this essay I learnt how to write about media and also the camera use. I found the sound effects (FX) hard to write about but I tried my best. I found writing about the modern and olden audience comparing part easy. I used the plan to write my essay because this helped me write a detailed essay and also it helped me decide what things to write about. I think I have written a detailed essay. ...read more.

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