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How do you account for the success of Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann

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Introduction

Matthew Walsh 10w4 12th may 2005 How do you account for the success of Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann? "The play re-worked for MTV." This is just one of the many ways Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet has been described after the director dramatically changed the way the world sees Shakespeare. The controversial film shows us just how important Shakespeare still is no matter how you try to change it. The classic, original play will always be present in some way. The film's success came with great publicity, as this was the first time Shakespeare had been radically updated to suit the teenage population and show us just how Shakespeare keeps in touch with the modern world. The film was a success because it was transformed and updated into the modern ages and was still able to keep many elements of Shakespeare still noticeably clear, with lines from other plays dotted all around Romeo and Juliet to really show us just how the phrases and words of Shakespeare relate to modern times. The film was described as "radical invention of a classic text." This shows us how easy it is to change the way people think of an old classic text. The setting, the costumes, the actors and the way he has cut the script all add up to how Luhrmann has managed to change the way the world looks at Shakespeare just in one simple film. His work on Romeo and Juliet will definitely go down in history as he has managed to pull in a great audience from the younger generation. This film immediately changed the meaning and image of how people see Shakespeare. The image has been changed from an old, outdated play written for people to enjoy hundreds of years ago, into a film which attracts all kind of viewers and makes them change their view on Shakespeare as he has proven he critics wrong. ...read more.

Middle

In many cases Luhrmann has managed to drastically cut the long speeches and turn the play into a fast pace movie, which doesn't seem to bore anyone. In act 3 scene 5 at least two thirds of the lines had been cut so that the play wouldn't be dominated by speeches. Instead of this he has cut them down to make it more interesting and more excitable to the viewers. By doing this he has made the scene more powerful and more ecstatic and makes it more accessible for kids and teenagers. The "Queen Mab" speech was edited to change it from a long conversation about dreams into a more interesting and more youthful topic about drugs. With this he has made it more modern and has touched on an issue that effects most people in the world and it's also an issue, which affects teenagers. He also updates the story in many ways making it more natural towards the modern day .He changes the way the public see Paris and they make him seem as a good catch for Juliet as there are magazines and TV shows about him, which make him seem as if he is the perfect, and very wealthy person for Juliet to marry. He also changes many of the original ideas of the play. He updates the way the Montague boys find out about the party. In the original play they find out by helping out a servant who can't read. As this might of seen very out of place as many people today can read and write, they place the invitation on TV to make it more updated for everyday life. Even though the play has been drastically modified and updated to suit the needs of modern people, there are still many aspects of Shakespeare left in the film. The title is a perfect example of how he has kept it loyal to Shakespeare as the title is called "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet." ...read more.

Conclusion

Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Romeo, was chosen because of his appeal to the youth generation. He is a good-looking man who would pull in the youth generation, as he was only 19 when he was picked for the part. His background in acting gave him a big boost as he has already picked up an Oscar nomination. Leonardo was picked to play the part as he proved himself to be a successful actor but mainly because he could appeal to the younger generation of viewers, which would improve the ratings. Claire Danes who plays Juliet was chosen as she is also seen as an actor who could help with the youth generation. She is a good-looking woman and this would help pull in the younger generation. She had plenty of acting experience and could prove a good choice in the role of Romeo and Juliet. Baz Luhrmann had made the success of Romeo and Juliet by changing the play. He cut lines and scenes to make it flow more easily and make it faster pace and more exciting. He used many symbols and images to help make it more interesting. The use of film devices and the setting of the film helped keep it in touch with the original play. He updated the play and was also able to keep many aspects of Shakespeare still alive in the film. His casting was important to keep it in touch with the younger generation. I think that the success of this play was down to the way he managed to successfully change many aspects of the play and make it more appealing to the youth generation. The film has many appealing parts to it and helps keep it more in touch with the youth generation. My overall opinion of the film is that it is well worked out and was very well edited to make it more appealing to the younger audience. He has successfully managed to update the play and in all has managed to make it a more interesting play and film at the same time. ...read more.

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