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Baz Luhrman's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Media Coursework - Baz Luhrman's Interpretation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". "Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona (where we lay our scene) From ancient grudge break new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives" This essay will explain film director Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". The film was made in 1996 and set in a modern city such as Los Angeles or Rio de Janeiro. In the film, Luhrmann has made many changes to it, but while still keeping it's historical content, for example in the original Shakespearean play, knives are used whereas in this film reproduction, guns are used. Baz Luhrmann has modernized the film in the way that modern audiences can understand and relate to it such as the use of cars and helicopters. This particular essay will be focusing on four main parts - The Prologue, The Fight Scene, Baz Luhrmann's Portrayal Of the Characters and my own opinions and the conclusion. In the Prologue, at the very beginning, a short summery is introduced in the form of a black women reading the news. The camera has quite an old television set in the center of the screen with a black background surrounding it. This can show some form of anachronism because it shows a modern television set with a women reading the "news" which is actually the prologue in old English. ...read more.

Middle

The music played with Romeo is an orchestra of violins, and as he becomes nearer to Tybalt, the tension of the surrounding area becomes greater when the music from the violins become louder. We get the impression of Tybalts malignity when, whenever Romeo tries to be consiliatry towards Tybalt, the music slowly builds. The setting of the scene is on the shores of Verona Beach where there is an old theatre which is broken in half, this reminds us of the original play. Also, Luhrmann might be trying to challenge the fact that the old theatrical context of the play on a stage is over and now, films have been introduced, there not going to be plays in theatre's anymore with people watching it live, but pre-recorded films where mistakes are edited out. It shows a whole new form of entertainment, through cimenatic experiences. Also, by putting the stage in the scene where the fight is happening, Luhrmann might be trying to illustrate that the whole of these two families lives is on a stage, where audiences watch what is going to and about to happen. When the actual physical fight scene is on between mainly Mercutio and Tybalt, lots of sound effects have been added such as the sounds of kicks and punches. During this scene, the music becomes, once again very racy, to suggest the anger but also fear the characters are feeling. When Mercutio is stabbed by Tybalt, a sudden sense of shock comes across all the characters as though they did not expect it to happen so early in the situation - for the characters - and film - for the audiences. ...read more.

Conclusion

is portrayed as a self-admiring, narcissistic, stubborn and arrogant "cowboy" type of a character. His style of clothing is very westernised. His face looks very comical as his facial features stand out, like his perfectly cut and groomed moustache, and his ridiculously slicked-back hair, which is gelled flat. He thinks his appearance is very slick and stylish, but it is quite the opposite.s He speaks in a quick cowboyish style of speaking. This matches the music that is played with him. All this gives an effect which is un-known to the characters of slapstick comedy. It is very ironic how he acts and poses as he acts as though is is very macho, but really on the inside, he is scared of fighting! Luhrmann portrays Mercutio (Romeo's best friend) as a fast talking, witty character. His costume is pretty laid back or casual. He is also seen as a cross-dresser because of his humourous costume at the Capulet's. He is also a drug addict and is quite mad! His random shooting in the sea may suggest a mental illness or depression. In my opinion, the prolouge is very messy and quite disastrous, but this cames across as a good thing because it shows the mess, disaster and destruction the families have caused. I enjoyed the way Baz Luhrmann has included an audience in the key scenes such as the Fight Scene because it is as though he has captured our feelings and put them in the surrounding cowd so that we can relate with them. ...read more.

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