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Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet. Packed with action, rivalry and immediately capturing his audience's attention Baz Luhrmann's opening sequence sets the theme of conflict for the rest of the film. Romeo and Juliet has many underlying themes and ideas that Baz Luhrmann has conveyed in his version of the story. The main ideas the opening scene seeks to convey are rivalry, consequences and conflict. Baz Lurhmann has used our interest in conflict to convey each one of these themes, as well as using several different film techniques which are made to appeal to a young audience. Romeo and Juliet, was written in a time period that differs greatly from today. The language, scenery, weapons, and modes of transportation have changed over the years and this makes the story a little more confusing to understand in a new generation. Due to difference in the language used today and Shakespeare's dialect, Baz Luhrmann creates the modern day film version of Romeo and Juliet. The opening scene of the play is a very powerful scene however; some things have been altered in the film version of the play so that a younger audience can gain a better understanding. Some of these key factors cover the areas of scenery, costumes, conflict and language. The opening sequence demonstrates the clash between the two families and shows what simple things can irritate the opposing family. The Montague's, who are non religious, aggravate the Capulets, who are strong Catholics by harassing and pocking fun at a nun. ...read more.

Middle

The close up could have shown any part of Tybalt's face, but choosing his teeth would give the audience a 'snarling' impression of Tybalt, and that his 'ready to sink his teeth into you'. The costumes chosen for the two families are vital to symbolise again the differences between them both. The Capulet boys are dressed smartly in suits to coincide with their 'more serious' attitude whilst the Montague boys are dressed in bright, Hawaiian t-shirts to show their opposing fun, lively side. The Capulet's wealth is shown by the amount of jewellery worn and the many close ups on their feet make it even more noticeable to see their expensive, leather boots. The importance of religion to the rivalry between the two families is shown within costume as well. Tybalt is wearing a waistcoat with an image of Jesus on the front and many of the Capulet boys are wearing cross and chains. This helps the audience to have a clear distinction between the two gangs. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet one family would most probably have worn one colour and the other family would wear a different colour, luckily Baz Lurhmann is able to play around with what the families wore. The many props are used with great effect as the camera highlights them to distinguish the differences between the families. The conflict is shown throughout each prop. The guns with 'swords' for their brand name isn't just a prop but a link with Shakespeare's language of, drawing out your sword in 'Romeo and Juliet'. ...read more.

Conclusion

He gave them fast paced transitions which would speed up your heartbeat and most of all he gave you that feeling of wanting to watch on to find out what happens. I enjoyed watching the Baz Lurhmann's sequence and liked viewing it at first with sound and just the visuals and then sound without the visuals. This for me had a great impact on how important sound and image is to a film. The sequence was exciting to watch and I liked noticing the parts Baz Lurhmann had took from Shakespeare, and I found it made it easier for me to remember. I think Baz Lurhmann is a very clever director, to be able to capture Shakespeare's writing in a modern day film along with adding his own idea is just amazing. I like how Baz Lurhmann has taken one element of conflict between the families and has shown it in so many different ways. For example the religious aspect was shown throughout the music playing, the costumes worn and what the actors were doing. I think Baz Lurhmann has stayed true to Shakespeare's play as he kept the basis and the storyline the same but just layered the film with what was causing the feud between the families. When I read Shakespeare's version of the first seventy lines, all I have is my imagination to see the facial expressions, movements, body language and tone of the characters but when watching Baz Lurhmann's interpretation everything was bought to life, in a way which I think credits the words I first read. ...read more.

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