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Discuss whether you think the opening of Baz Luhrmann's recent film adaptation of 'Romeo and Juliet' accurately portrays the : Characters mood, themes and action of Shakespeare's play.

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Introduction

Discuss whether you think the opening of Baz Luhrmann's recent film adaptation of 'Romeo and Juliet' accurately portrays the: Characters mood, themes and action of Shakespeare's play. In the year 1996 Baz Luhrmann, a famous film director, adapted Shakespeare's classic play, "Romeo and Juliet". He directed the newer version with the intention of making the film more enjoyable for a wider range of people, bringing different aspects of play into different perspectives. In this essay I will be looking at how Baz Luhrmann directed the play, use of more genres and other various themes and characteristics of the play. In the play Luhrmann set the play in a modern American style city to give you the impression that the play was going to be modern and set in an up to date kind of setting. We know this from the opening montage which includes various shots of the city from both a birds eye view (taken from a helicopter) and a point of view shot, I think Luhrmann did this to show you how the city looks from different peoples viewpoints. I also think that he chose the modern city landscape because many people could relate to the setting of the film. ...read more.

Middle

with the newer one. One of the biggest similarities between the two plays is that it uses old English language. Differences between the two plays are that in the modern film version of the play at the beginning, a newsreader on television reads the prologue. Whereas in the stage show, a person comes on and physically reads it on stage, Luhrmann has done this to relate an old play to newer times with new technology. Finally, another difference between the two versions is that Shakespeare's play is a lot more serious and 'proper' than Baz Luhrmann's version, which is more laid back. Luhrmann has again, done this to relate it to modern times. In the film Tybalt and Benvolio play key roles in the play, Tybalt, firstly, is described as 'the Prince of Cats in the play, Luhrmann has done this to show that he can be gentlemanly at times, and right beast at other times, a bit like a cat, hence the name. When Tybalt is at the petrol station it introduces him, first, by him squashing a cigarette end with his boots, it then tracks up his body and stops at his head, where it stops and shows his face. ...read more.

Conclusion

The music used in the opening is something you would associate with a fight scene. Despite this, in the petrol station scene a kind of rock music is used with the Montague boys, to show that they are a 'cool' group of lads. Whereas with the Capulet boys, nothing is played to let the audience hear the speech and sound effects to see what they are plotting next. The camera focuses on different characters in different ways. Luhrmann uses a tilting camera movement on Tybalt to give him a sense on mystery until you see his face, when it got to Tybalt's face it froze. Whn it froze Tybalt had a mischievous look on his face, making you think he was plotting something. Benvolio, however is frozen on straight away at the petrol station, he is posed pointing a gun at Tybalt, who is out of shot. This straight away portrays Benvolio as a hero, because he is the 'good guy' who is shooting the 'bad guy', a bit like a 'spaghetti western'. The other characters are introduced with freeze frame but for a shorter period of time and with no particular pose, showing that they are not as significant. An interesting close-up was of Abra's teeth, cased by a silver jaw with the word SIN 'engraved' into it, showing that he is part of Tybalt's gang, with the devil-like reference. ...read more.

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