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How successfully does Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet represent Shakespeare's original themes and ideas and why is it so popular with young audiences?

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Introduction

How successfully does Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet represent Shakespeare's original themes and ideas and why is it so popular with young audiences? Media is a way of getting across information, this information could be anything from news, research these are the positive aspects of media we can find anything we want at the touch of a button but it has negative effects, adverts, posters, TV adverts these all in a way advertise products, they manipulate you. It would be impossible to live without media it is everywhere all the time. The director of Romeo and Juliet, baz luhrmann promotes a lot of his film from the opening scene of the film a television informing us of what is happening and what has happened, the television is something familiar, giving us something to relate to with all the Shakespearean language going on which we don't always understand. During the first scene the prologue, it introduces us to Romeo and Juliet, we first see a television screen and a news report telling us current affairs of Fair Verona its setting the scene, The TV is in front of a black background this draws as much attention towards the television screen as possible. It introduces us to Fair Verona and shows us the many religious icons. Then pans towards the characters of the film there's a lot of strong music, it then moves through the characters, it's drawing its attention to the characters by panning them in and out. ...read more.

Middle

Benvolio seems to be in charge but is reluctant he knows what he is doing, but doesn't seem to want to, he gives the impression that managing a fight is a choir. In the next scene there is a party. The Montagues sneak into a party held by the Capulets with the help of a friend of both families Mercutio. They are all happy and on drugs, there is a lot of colourful lights, swirling around, the Montagues are not themselves, shout a lot, we move on to the party, every one is dressed up, there are a lot of fast moving camera shots and people moving around this also gives us the impression that drugs have been taken. They are all wearing costumes, Juliet's mum is dressed as Cleopatra and her husband is dressed as Caesar these both represent power and leaders, authority. Abra is dressed as a skeleton and Tybalt is dressed as the devil, these both represent evil and death. Mercutio is dressed as a woman a transvestite with lipstick and high heels this may represent him being with both families neither one nor the other. Paris who is meant to marrying Juliet, He is dressed differently (an astronaut) because he is not with either families and there fore doesn't belong to any group. Juliet is dressed as an angel; this is supposed to represent Juliet as lovely and beautiful. ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of media within the film is very important, it is there to give us a sense of something familiar with all the Shakespearean language. A lot of media is hidden inside the film, the intro with the TV screen and the news report setting the scene for us, when they are at the pool house, there' a television informing us of a party, leading us towards the next scene. Media is there to keep the film flowing and stopping it from getting to complicated. I think that Baz Luhrmann has been very successful with this film it's a good adaptation of Shakespeare's original it still uses the Shakespearean language, and keeps to the same themes without changing or ruining the plot. Mr. Luhrmann has managed to modernise the play and turn it into a film. Reasons for his success are that it's popular with a young audience and not just keeping to one specific audience it appeals to many, which is what makes a good film. It has a lot of gun violence, young actors and actresses, they are good looking, sex scenes, lots of action a modern setting, fast loud music, its own originality, appealing styles, good fast editing and visual effects all contribute to appealing a wide a varied audience, he also keeps to the religious aspect of the play during the petrol station scene Baz fits in a total of twelve symbols and referencing to religion. Baz Luhrmann has successfully made a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Adam Batchelor ...read more.

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