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How Does The Opening Scene Of Luhrmann's "Romeo and Juliet" Appeal To The Younger Viewer?

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How Does The Opening Scene Of Luhrmann's "Romeo and Juliet" Appeal To The Younger Viewer? The film "Romeo and Juliet" was produced by Baz Lurhmann in 1997. It was a box office hit and much to many people's surprise, had young people queuing to see a Shakespeare production. This was so unusual because generally children expect little in the way of entertainment from Shakespeare due to the huge language barrier. They also find his plays difficult to watch because they say that trying to work out what is happening is impossible. However, Luhrmann's production achieved success whilst keeping the language exactly as Shakespeare wrote it. He did this so that he might change young people's opinions on the playwright and make them see that his plays are relevant. To help them understand the play, he made the language more visual so that one could see what certain words meant. For instance, by the end of the opening scene one would be in no doubt as to whether biting one's thumb at someone is an insult; this is due to the exaggerated movements when a Montague bites his thumb. Other ways he increased the clarity were the use of camera angles, costumes, music and props. Cleverly, he has altered the style of the opening scene by modernising it without affecting the language. ...read more.


Therefore, it can be assumed that this reflects in their personalities: the Montagues do not take life very seriously and childlike in the sense that they are unaware of the consequences of their actions; the Capulets are smart and sophisticated. During the fighting, the camera only allows the audience to see the Montagues showing cowardice and running away from the Capulets, whom show courage. There is a POV shot from inside one of the Capulets' gun. The shot is in slow motion and the gun moves from left to right; this displays the Capulet's skill by his ability to judge accurately even when under pressure. Despite these two family groups having contrasting personalities, they are both from families of an equal status and wealth. The zoom-in on the both of the families' cars reveals the number-plates "MON5" and "CAP5" shows their financial and social equality. To an extent it identifies which car belongs to which family so it tells the audience who is who. All of this lets the audience clearly distinguish between the two characters and allows them to foresee their personalities without having heard them speak or seen their responses to certain situations. The Capulets are clearly portrayed as the skilled ones and the Montagues are the contrary. ...read more.


Furthermore, the music is also very lively and upbeat. As such, it appeals to most young people because they like upbeat music. For those people whom it does not appeal to, they could probably bear it at the least, seeing as the music only lasts for more than a few seconds. Interestingly, Luhrmann adds operatic music to the film, which is usually thought not to be what younger people, whom are generally professed only to like popular music. However the opera used creates such a powerful effect that it does not bother what genre the music is. Diegetic sounds, which are sounds played for the effect inside the world of the characters; these sounds are often exaggerated or loudened to highlight the effects that they aim to create. An example of where Luhrmann does this is when the sign that says "Add more fuel to your fire" squeaks more loudly than it should. The sign acts as a prescience, allowing the audience to predict a future event, namely a big Western-style showdown between the two rival families. Again, this tantalises the audience; ergo, this appeals to them. With cleverly chosen camera angles, clothing, humour, music, props and scenery, which all help to break the language barrier created by time, Luhrmann has created a film that young people can understand easily. He has made most of the language presented to the viewer visually rather than audibly, whilst keeping Shakespeare's original language in tact. ...read more.

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