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Luhrmann version of Act 1 Scene 5 brings it to life

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Introduction

"Luhrmann's version of Romeo & Juliet really brings Act 1 Scene 5 to life". To what extent do you agree with this point? I think Luhrmann's film version of Romeo & Juliet brings Act 1 Scene 5 to life exceptionally well. His choice of setting, type of music, designs of costumes, and other film directions and language use portray the original Shakespeare version marvellously. Firstly, the scene and setting. Baz Luhrmann has chosen a brilliant location to house the party. The royal look to the Capulet mansion really shows off what life would have been for the people back in the day, especially people as rich and alike in dignity as the Capulets. It is an enormous house, suggesting that life back then for the rich was very grand, and I believe Luhrmann brings this out brilliantly. There is also a very lively, upbeat atmosphere, stating that back in the olden days, people would like to loosen up and enjoy such divine occasions, with a lot going on. The fireworks, with an array of varying colours, being set off outside of the house also states the lively, celebratory, and happy atmosphere inside, in spite of Tybalt and Romeo being in the same house. The chirpy singing by Mercutio also vindicates my point. ...read more.

Middle

Interestingly, Paris seemed to be wearing some sort of astronaut, spaceship costume. This might suggest that he was pretty smart, rich, high in status too, and quite proud of himself, as stereotypically, I see astronauts like that, as it is a very grand, albeit difficult, job to take on, and so Paris might have thought very fondly about himself. The wings on Juliet's back might also suggest to us viewers that Juliet was the 'angelic', good-girl type of character, who would want everything to be right for herself. Romeo's knight suit also caught my attention. Again stereotypically, I associate knights in shining armour as the sort of people who would always come to the rescue and save the day, and would woo people away. This is really brought out in Romeo - another reason why I believe Baz Luhrmann directed this film superbly well (this was no fluke!). In contrast, the devil horns worn by Tybalt brought his character out. By nature, Tybalt does act and speak like 'The Devil' - always aggressive and wanting to create mutiny - and this was a very suitable prop used. Mercutio's white wig, lipstick, and horrendous dancing and singing might have shown us what the tradition and fashion was like back then, and it brought the sarcastic, confident character out of him, who loves a good pun and sexual innuendo, as we will find out later in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Luhrmann has changed the old Elizabethan setting, and has modernised it a great deal (not so much the party, but the film in general). This was a good move, as it really brought the whole film to modern life, as it is now, and makes it more interesting for the more youthful audience. The use of cast members was exceptional. However, Romeo and Juliet were said to be about 17 and 13 respectively in the original play, and getting Leonardo di Caprio, who was 21 years old at the time, and Claire Danes, who was 16 at the time, I felt did not do any justice to the initial play set by Shakespeare, as they were older than their characters. However, choosing actors who would have been Romeo and Juliet's ages would potentially not have given the film as much emotion to it, and di Caprio and Danes certainly made it very realistic. Overall, I believe the Baz Luhrmann film version of Romeo and Juliet brings Act 1 Scene 5 to life very well. As I have the whole film at home, I hope the written Shakespearean play script is just as good as Luhrmann's film version, as it really brings to life the whole play to life, and not just this small section alone. This time, well done Luhrmann! ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Some apt points begin to be identified in this essay; however they are never really developed or linked in a fluent manner and that is where the essay is lacking. When analysing a performance it is important to consider why certain decisions made by the director are particularly effective in communicating the original play successfully to the audience.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 04/10/2013

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