• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Baz Luhrmann make a successful interpretation of Romeo and Juliet for a modern audience?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Baz Luhrmann make a successful interpretation of Romeo and Juliet for a modern audience? Baz Luhrmann has used William Shakespeare's world-renowned Romeo and Juliet love story to create a stunning, innovative and unconventional piece of modern-day cinematography. The story in the film is virtually identical to that in William Shakespeare's play yet Luhrmann sets the film in the futuristic urban backdrop of Verona whilst still using original Elizabethan language. The romantic yet tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet tells of the long-lasting grudge between the parents of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet; the Capulets and Montagues. He manages to interweave the 16th century story and language with the present-day and it still has the ability to entertain a modern audience. With music, costume and the setting, as well as his distinctive camera style Luhrmann manages to make Romeo and Juliet accessible to today's viewers. I will investigate the techniques that he has used to make sure that an audience that have not necessarily read Romeo and Juliet will understand and enjoy this conversion of a classic love story. The opening of the film shows a fuzzy television amidst a black screen. Then a woman becomes visible who appears to be a newsreader. ...read more.

Middle

The noises of everyday things such as horns and shouting are exaggerated and these noises build up until Tybalt and Benvolio drop their guns down which creates a loud crash, once again exaggerated. This 'larger than life' feel keeps the audience engrossed in the action and gives Shakespeare a more fun edge. The scene in which Romeo is introduced is completely different and contrasting to the previous scenes. You see him sitting moodily on the beach in what looks like an old decrepit playhouse. The area is quite empty and seedy. The music gives this scene an incredible amount of atmosphere and insight into how Romeo is feeling. It is sunset and the scene is hazy and romantic. He is smoking a cigarette whilst writing something like poetry in a scruffy suit. The music really sets the scene. All these elaborate and contrasting portrayals of the Montagues and Capulets through music attract the audience, keep them excited in the action and make it much more appealing and fun. They also keep it simple for the audience to understand. Obviously, the music modernises the story as it is modern music and goes well with the modern-day twists. The clothes worn are clearly modern. ...read more.

Conclusion

This adds a colourful, glamorous and kitsch feel to the film. It is like a motif or logo running throughout the film and could be visual imagery to emphasize the contrasts of love and hate, good and evil. Another constant theme is the constant contrasts right the way through the film. A very famous line from Romeo and Juliet highlights this; "My only love sprang from my only hate". As well as the love and hate there is that of religion and violence going alongside each other, the Montague boys and Capulet boys, Romeo and Juliet themselves are contrasts and the setting of the petrol station and the Sycamore Grove. The futuristic setting contrasts with the Shakespearian language, yet they completely compliment each other. Baz Luhrmann has managed to create a highly entertaining film out of a classic love story, he has enhanced and improved an already amazing story. His powerful music, vivid colours, contrasting costumes, exciting camera techniques and cross-reference of various genres all worked together to produce a timeless and unforgettable film. The above methods were no so obvious that they were distracting however; I found them subtle and extremely effective. I believe that Luhrmann's aim was to create an enjoyable film for modern audience who needn't have read the book or know the story and not in anyway ruin the original text. I believe that he achieved this very successfully. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Using camera angles, soundtrack, costume, props and setting describe the world Baz Lurhman has ...

    Then suddenly Abra yells 'Boo' causing the Montague on the other side to fall backwards out of fear. Things then start hotting up and the two men end up pointing their guns at each other when Benvolio returns. When he sees what is going on he takes his gun out and the camera focuses on the engraved 'sword 9mm'.

  2. How does Baz Luhrmann use film techniques to make Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" more ...

    However, just after Romeo's marriage to Juliet the 'L'amour' billboard is seen again, yet just after it another one with a more important message reading, 'Such stuff which dreams are made of,' implying which Shakespeare suggested that the love could never be, again hinting on the plot and helping the

  1. Describe how Baz Luhrmann has adapted Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” for a modern audience.

    The movie, like any other story or piece of media, has an introduction, a build-up, a climax and a resolution. There is a narrated introduction, presented first as a male voice-over reciting a prologue and explaining relationships and characters of the two featured families, and then by a lady, set

  2. Analyse how Baz Luhrmann has directed his film version of "Romeo and Juliet" to ...

    She says that she is powerful, but not powerful enough to grant a divorce between the married couple, Lady Viola and Lord Wessex. She asked Webster about if the play was good and he said a Kind of 'yes'. The Queen asks a child because they are apparently innocent and truthful.

  1. By portraying Act I Scene V in a modern day setting, I believe this ...

    However the costumes would be formal such as suits and modern day dresses to indicate the formal setting of the ball. I believe in the play the ball is a formal party, the reason I believe this is because Capulet stopped Tybalt from starting a fight with Romeo as he

  2. Explain how Baz Lurhmann makes the opening of his film version of 'Romeo and ...

    The first newspaper headline (not from the prologue) reads, 'Montague VS Capulet' and being on the front conveys the message to the audience that this must be extremely serious and a lot of violence must be going on. The teenagers of today won't understand the prologue quoted by the voiceover, but the newspapers clearly convey the messages to them.

  1. Analyse the way in which Baz Luhrmann uses Cinematic devices in the opening scenes ...

    In this case the caption says, 'The Montague Boys'. They pull into a petrol station and the driver gets out to go to the toilet. On the other side of the pumps nearest the shop, the Capulet car pulls up. In both the families they all have personalized things such as their car number plates for the Montague family

  2. How successful is Baz Lurhmann in representing the character of Tybalt, in a way ...

    Serious but smug, Tybalt expresses himself with mysterious facial expressions. A powerful aura of confidence surrounds him; this look is influenced by the Montagues' entrance. They begin by laughing and full of happiness; this is soon lost by a deathly focus upon the Capulets.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work