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How successfully do you feel that Baz Luhrman presents key scenes and characters in Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How successfully do you feel the Baz Luhrman film presents key scenes and characters? I believe that Baz Luhrman is very successful in presenting key scenes and characters in his film Romeo and Juliet. I also believe that he reflects them well in their contemporary, modern, context of modern day Verona, however there are one or two aspects of the film that do not fit the contemporary context. I feel that the way that Mercutio is portrayed is especially good in the way that he is cast as black. This separates him from the other white actors that are playing the feuding families showing that he is not part of the feud, but on the sidelines. Luhrman also exaggerates Mercutio's outgoing and fun loving personality, especially at the Capulet party where he shows up in drag. Baz Luhrman presents the key scenes and characters in many ways. However the most influential and original ways in which he adds a personal touch to the film is through his use of camera work, that can only be done when presenting the play as a film. ...read more.

Middle

This helps to build tension right up to the moment that Tybalt is killed. The music and other sound effects used in the film also give a way of portraying the characters and key scenes that could not have been done easily outside of a film set. The sound helps to build and emotive atmosphere and portrays the feelings of the scene. In times of high tension there was often no music at all. The silence brings a sense of anxiety because the audience wants to know what happens next. The silence acts as a break between the action. For example there is a long silence once Tybalt had been shot before the thunderstorm started. Along with the camera effects there are other visual tools, such as pathetic fallacy. Pathetic fallacy is used in the film during the fight that leads to the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt. The use of pathetic fallacy is also a good way of showing how the mood changes from one action scene to another. In the fight that leads to Mercutio being killed the weather starts off nice and sunny with little wind and clear skies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo takes the law into his own hands when he goes after Tybalt and his language changes so that it is he that is now the aggressor. As far as it's contemporary context goes it fits in ok apart from the way that the protagonists all carry guns around on their person in view to the public. This way common practice in Elizabethan England with men and their swords but in the present day it was too open. I understand that they may have had guns with them but they would not have made it quite so obvious. Like, for example, at the beach when Mercutio is shooting into the water and the people around are not bothered. In real life there would have been open chaos and panic. Overall I feel that although some aspects of the film are slightly elaborated and do not fit the modern context of the film, Baz Luhrman presents the key scenes and characters very well using a variety of techniques to illustrate his arguments and ideas. Many of these techniques could not have been done outside of the film set and the modern day persona. Ben Dunkley English Literature Coursework Romeo and Juliet ...read more.

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