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How successful is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Representing William Shakespeare's original ideas and why is it so popular with young people today?

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Introduction

How successful is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Representing William Shakespeare's original ideas and why is it so popular with young people today? Media is contemporary communication, it is featured everywhere and influences, even controls our lives by moulding our fashion, views, ideas and tastes. Media is television, radio, newspapers, magazines, telephone and any kind of advertising. Media often forms from speech. Moving image is our specific topic of media, focusing on Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. It was first written during a period when Shakespeare had found the strength of his writing. He would have been about twenty six years of age when he wrote it. It stands as a great play in its own right and many say the best play ever written. There have been many adaptations of this 1595 text and performance including that of, a moving image version by the Franco Zeffirelli production through which the text has been written rather freely. More recently both the BBC and ITV have screened their own versions. There is also a cartoon, 'The Animated Tales of Romeo and Juliet'. One of the better variations on the theme is the 1961 moving image, 'West Side Story' which explores ethnic tensions in the poorer part of New York, based on the successful Broadway musical of 1957 with songs including 'Tonight' and 'Maria'. Hector Berlioz gave his first performance of the Romeo and Juliet symphony in 1839- a work for solo voice, choir and orchestra-at the Paris Conservatoire. Peter Tchaikovsky used the play for his 1870 Fantasy Overture. The story has been used for three operas including 'Capuletti ei Montecchi' (vincenzo Bellini, 1830); 'Romeo and Juliet' (Charles Gounod, 1867), and 'A village Romeo and Juliet' (by Frederic Delius, 1907). The best known of the Ballet interpretations is that of Sergei Prokofiev, first danced in Moscow in 1935. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt is portrayed as being pure evil by hi reckless attitude and irate, bitter tone. When the gun shooting takes place it is apparent that the Capulets have a more organised way of fighting and are more accurate with their shots, where as the Montagues are scatty also proved in their aiming for the Capulets. Baz Luhrmann has added the detail as the shooting commences Western music is sounded proving this is a show down and battle with guns. The coarseness of the language of the young men contrasts sharply with the purity and innocence of the language used during the scenes of Romeo and Juliet's love affair. The grand finally of the scene becomes into motion when the petrol has been spilt around the station and with an evil laugh drops his cigarette on to the petrol. This is filmed by seeing the cigarette in slow motion, as well as captivating the audience, there is also time to show the faces of Tybalt and Benvolio and their reactions. Tybalt has a sinister grin of the enjoyment that he is getting from destroying a part of the innocent society around them. However, Benvolio can see what Tybalt is about to do and how it would effect the society around them so has a worried look and is uncomfortable about what is to happen. A frame of the cigarette hitting the ground captures irony. The symbol of a crucifix is used again because the cigarette hits the petrol within a cross on the ground, showing how the feud is killing out all means of their religion by sinful actions. As the fire spreads it is shown that they will burn out religion and this will lead to burning out the society. The petrol station goes up into flames and due to the fire symbolising hate it is relevant to the text. The camera then zooms into the fire and smoke, this gradually clears causing anticipation to build up, focusing on the shot of the two ...read more.

Conclusion

The males are lured by the drama of the violence with the hate and rivalry including the guns and the themes of death and vengeance examples being the Petrol Station scene and the killing of Mercutio and Tybalt. Females are captured through the themes the romance and the love between Romeo and Juliet. Aswell as the fairytale aspects and the beauty of Juliet, the fact that Romeo is played by a world-wide heartthrob causes the females to be interested even before they know about the film that he stars in. The Hollywood actors play a large part as they would have been seen in other films so therefor would be recognisable and the fact that they are attractive to both sexes helps the reviews and publications. The soundtrack is modern so is recognisable to young people whom are the main punters of pop music, but it also fits in with the classic form. The story is well ended leaving a good impression of the moving image, which is then passed on to friend and relatives. The moral or denovement is tragic, hopeful, vengeant but still fulfilled by love so never gets boring and allures the viewer through to the end. Overall, Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, represents Shakespeare's original themes and ideas with great success as determined firstly by the fact that Luhrmann has used all of the Shakespearean text and brought it up to date also he has used the drama to its full potential by special effects and expensive scenery and props due to the films large budget. But aswell as this he has targeted at the teenager to young adult audience, which was clever, because they know the story due to studying it in school so this enables them to understand the words. And they have the most money and time as a rule (compared to parents, young children and the elderly), so they are able to spend money on the cinema or buy the film. By Samantha Fulcher 10MNJ 10N/EN3 ...read more.

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