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How does Luhrman make the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet exciting to a modern audience?

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Introduction

How does Luhrman make the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet exciting to a modern audience? Luhrman definitely makes watching Romeo and Juliet a great and memorable experience to a modern audience. He uses film as a medium to get his message across. This is different to other media as you can see a moving image as well as hearing it. To most effect on the audience he makes sure he chooses the perfect props, setting, costuming and actors. The way Luhrman adapts the story is changed to suit our present day audience. The chorus is told as a news report, telling us the events of what is going to happen. It is like going quickly through the news bulletins and then having a voice over to show us what happened. Present audiences know that the news shows serious things happening, like murders or terrorist attacks. This is very effective as a news report is an indicator to us that something dramatic has happened. ...read more.

Middle

I thought it was very clever how he set the fight in a petrol station, as this is a place where everyone goes. I felt that their cars were like fashion statement, showing which one of theirs is better. Later on in the scene one of the Capulets vroom their car. They were trying to show they were the most powerful, stamping their authority and was and trying to threaten their rivals. There were other sound FX used other than the vroom of the car. The Foley team is responsible for this. The giggle that filled the silence made the hostility rise; this was an iconic symbol to show that something is going to happen. Then you saw one of the Capulets step out of the car with a cowboy boot. This gave the effect of the Capulets being trendy. As we see the rest of them, they are dressed up in black waistcoats. Black normally represents evil; I saw the resemblance to the evil cowboy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The scenario gave me the impression of a cowboy film. Two cowboys having a death match. Everyone is silent as this stimulating event takes place. All of it builds up and then they start fighting each other. Tybalt opens his jacket to show his waistcoat of the sacred heart of Jesus. He puffs out his chest, which is telling them to "bring it on" without actually saying it. In Shakespeare times black men were not aloud on stage, but obviously Luhrman hired actors that were of different race. When it was originally made they were divided into Protestant and Catholic, this wouldn't excite us now. So he makes the change of ethnic backgrounds to bring it up to date. He also hires Leonard D' Caprio as he has a unique selling point. This was his first famous movie and he was perfect to attract all the females. I really enjoy the opening of Romeo and Juliet because it is very intense I always get chills when I watch it. Film is a very exciting medium in general but how Luhrman uses the settings, costumes, actors, etc. has definitely made the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet a scene never to forget. ...read more.

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