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Explore a number of tense and dramatic scenes in Baz Luhrmann's production of Romeo and Juliet, and analyse which devices are effective.

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Introduction

EXPLORE A NUMBER OF TENSE AND DRAMATIC SCENCES IN BAZ LUHRMANN'S PRODUCTION OF ROMEO AND JULIET, AND ANALYSE WHICH DEVICES ARE EFFECTIVE. CONSIDER HOW BOTH SHAKSPEARE'S AUDIENCE AND A MODERN ONE MIGHT REACT William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is about "Two star cross'd lovers" who take their lives. It is a famous tragic love story directed in 1997, which is as popular today as in Shakespeare's time. Romeo and Juliet is the most tragic love story in the world and the most well known Shakespeare play. This play was set in Italy, which during the sixteenth century was considered as an affluent and amorous country. Shakespeare's language brings the story to life, making each character distinctive and reveals the chaos of emotions that Romeo and Juliet experience throughout the play. In Romeo and Juliet many themes are brought forward like love, conflict, fate, life and death, power, time and two worlds. The reason why this play has such dominant genres is because this play shows the downfall of the two protagonists. However, the liability for their breakdown lies outside the characters, it is the workings of fate. Baz Luhrmann directed the modern film 'Romeo and Juliet' in 1997. ...read more.

Middle

Once the camera has finished focusing on the cigar it zooms in on a signpost that reads "Careful fire hazard" on it. This is again to create tension and for the audience to think about what is going to happen next. The opening scene of Romeo and Juliet is definitely based on tension build-ups. Humour follows this tense scene to help to break it up a little. One of the Montagues hides behind an old woman's car door, as he is scared about what is going to happen next. He has pink punk style hair and is wearing a garish t-shirt. He looks so ridiculous that anyone would have to have at least a slight giggle at the sight of him. To add to that the lady whose car it is panics and thinks that the Montague is going to hurt her so she begins hitting him with her handbag. This is just comical and when you can actually watch his face and hers you have to laugh. These little acts of humour do make the scene effective as they break up the tension and then this allows it to be built back up again without the audience getting bored. ...read more.

Conclusion

The low angle shot of Capulet and Lady Capulet shows how prevailing and ascendant they are. The effect created could be the audience sympathising Juliet. The medium shot of Lady Capulet and Capulet together shows that they are together and they both feel the same way. The effect created is that Juliet is gone weak because two authoritative and prevailing bodies have gone against one. By the end of the harsh fight of words and angry exchange of feelings Juliet is left shattered and exhausted weeping with despair. The audience feel immensely upset and probably want to comfort Juliet. In conclusion, Luhrmann has created an exciting and highly rated adaptation to the original story in many ways including visual imagery like his powerful music, vivid colours, contrasting costumes and exciting camera techniques. Generally, the first scene has established the mood and set the scene in many ways. In the first scene he has mixed comedy with action successfully enough to capture the modern day audience. I think that by incorporating modern issues such as homosexuality, drugs and violence he has made the film more relevant to today's society. I also think this film is an accurate insight of Shakespeare's themes and ideas. This film, in my opinion, is complex yet simple. That is why it is so successful and can be watched and understood by everybody. ...read more.

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