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Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo and Juliet': Cinematography

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BAZ LUHRANN'S ROMEO AND JULIET Write an analysis of Baz Luhrmann's portrayal of the meeting between Romeo and Juliet, in his 1997 film. Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet is a modern approach to themes and characters of the Elizabethan era. Set in 20th century America, it is contrasted to the traditional Elizabethan era and religious aspects. This new approach gives the infamous play a new and interesting impression, and can still provoke tension and interest even though the majority of the audience know the basic plot. The play is introduced with a clip of a 20th century news presenter on television presenting the conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets: "Two households both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean" These contrasting concepts; of a television and news presenter speaking in Elizabethan dialogue is another example of Shakespeare's original ideas contrasted to the 20th century, a distinct choice or Luhrmann's. The first time we see Juliet, she is immersed in a bath of water, shut out of from the surrounding world. Her mother is screaming for her frantically. ...read more.


To add to the sense of romance, there is a quiet romantic solo in the background, dull lighting and close-ups of the camera. These close ups give a sense of solitude, excluding the outside world for the audiences concentration on the link between the two characters. The camera also shows the two perspectives, and though Romeo tries to kiss Juliet, the glass pane stops him. A recurrent theme of this piece is water imagery, representing the purity and innocence of young love. The fact that Romeo is first seen submerged in water, as Juliet was when she was first introduced, establishes a relationship between the two characters. One of the best examples is the first time they see each other through the fish tank. They mirror one anothers movement a sign that they are meant to be together. There is also an angel fish, a pun on their love as 'deep' or 'tropical and rare' and 'angelic'. The refracting ligts give the aquarium a sense of heaven, and the blue lights against their faces shows innocence. The water can also be seen as 'purifying', a barrier that they cannot caross and yet they see each other as plainly as if it were not their. ...read more.


With this night's revels and expire the term Of a despised life closed in my breast By some vile forfeit of untimely death. When Romeo awakens from the drug during the party scene he sees a ghostly apparition of himself in the church he is to die in. This is a technique used by Luhrmann to give the audience a sense of foreboding and tension; whish draws you in to the play. This leads me on to the Shakespeare's theme of death, which was inevitable due to the family hatred that Shakespeare uses as a moral of the play. He takes her by the hand into the lift, FAST CAMERA where Luhrmann circles the couple to display the intensity of their emotions and to separate them out from the rest for emphasis on the characters relations. The lift door opens out to Juliet's mother, and the door is quickly closed, denying the inevitable relationship between her and her mother. The Nurse, who now knows of the relationship, drags her out to her mother. She is taken up stairs (to show distance) where she finds out he is a Montague and he finds out she is a Capulet. The Ominous music is low. Distanced camera. Dark outside: no eye contact broken: still love though unable to believe it.... ...read more.

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