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How has Baz Luhrman converted Act1 Scene5 on Romeo + Juliet from the page to screen?

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Introduction

How has Baz Luhrman converted Act1 Scene5 on R+J from the page to screen? The most romantic moment in Baz Luhrman's/William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" occurs near the beginning, when two star-crossed lovers first lay eyes upon each other at a masquerade ball through the glass of a giant aquarium. As of yet, neither is aware of the other's identity. Neither could the danger and tragedy that their love would bring. In this one moment, Luhrman successfully captures the pure innocence and meaning of youth - bright, alive and endless. Most people already know the classic tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet". It is the simple story of a young love that should never have been; an inevitable love doomed from the beginning. What sets this version completely apart is a fresh, frenzied style with impressive cinematography and modern music mixed with a gorgeous love theme all set to the pulse of Shakespeare's original dialogue. On paper, and in the opening sequence at the gas station, the original dialogue seems like a very bad idea. However, shortly after the film gets going, it all works really well. The meeting scene in the film is most chaotic with the camera cutting from frame to frame at a dizzying speed as the main characters try to separate themselves from their friends and relatives. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet is then whisked away by her nurse and is made to dance with the "astronautically" dressed Paris. This is another important part of the film because the music in the background is not set to the same beat as the rhythm to which Paris and Juliet are dancing. The beat that they are dancing to is slow and when compared to the love of Romeo and Juliet could suggest that they felt like they had been together forever; as they seemed to be moving to a different pace compared to everyone else. When the film focuses on scenes like this the camera slows down and savours and intensifies the look in both their eyes and their body language towards each other. Especially in the dancing the people in the background wear masks and are slightly blurred so that your attention does not stray to their weird costumes and away from Romeo and Juliet. The first piece of physical contact between R+J comes when, after the dancing Romeo grabs Juliet's hand from behind a pillar; this is similar to Franco Zeferrelli's first contact scene. What happens next is one of the most important scenes in the film - Romeo and Juliet's first kiss. This kiss then starts off the fast panning of the cameras and the setting also plays a very big part. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Capulet - Cleopatra: this portrays her character as the driving force behind the Capulet family and gives an idea of the power that she has over her husband. The costume that she wears exploits the wealth of the Capulet's also. Lord Capulet - Nero: shows he is a bit of a wild man inside although he has a tough outside exterior. The costume also illustrates the wealth that the Capulet's have. (Nero's palace was called the house of gold). Tybalt - Devil/Cat: Tybalt's costume demonstrates his evil streak. His sidekick Abra is dressed up as a skeleton and is made to represent death. Paris - Astronaut: this is made to show his braveness and that he is a "flyer" as he was voted most eligible bachelor of the year. All these factors allowed Baz Luhrman to direct Act 1, Scene 5 onto the screen and recreate the Romeo and Juliet myth. His skilful direction and inventive vision have created one of the best Romeo and Juliet films ever. The film is full of striking images an sounds that help set the theme of the film. Though William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" may not appeal to everyone, Baz Luhrman's has definitely helped the classic tragedy become more accessible and understandable to the younger generation. It also helps give light to the damage petty anger and hatred can cause, and gives hope for love. ...read more.

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