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Romeo and Juliet

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GCSE ENGLISH COURSEWORK The 1997 version of Romeo and Juliet gives William Shakespeare's world famous play a gripping, modern and dynamic portrayal. Written and produced by one of Australia's finest directors, Baz Luhrman, it presents Romeo and Juliet with more suspense, more action and especially more drama. Set in Verona, Italy, Romeo and Juliet is an intriguing love story, with twists and turns which will change their lives forever. Romeo, played by Leonardo DiCaprio belongs to the famous 'Montague' family. On the other hand, Juliet, played by Claire Danes, is a member of the equally famous 'Capulet' family. These two families share an ancient grudge, which still acts as a blockade to their unity. The families practically want to take each other out. In addition, the thought of the youngest members of each family being in love, will push the families to the limit. Will it unite the families together, or will it result in another gruesome battle? In my essay, this twenty-first version of the great romantic tragedy will be analysed, focusing especially on the opening scenes, looking at language, structure and media techniques used. One of the things that are essential to make any film is the directors skill of camera shots. ...read more.


The door flew open; we see a low angle shot of the metal shoes belonging to Tybalt, the prince of cats. This shows his power and authority. The clicking of the metal shoes increases the tension, followed by the producers cleverly showing the hustle movements of the nuns, with their laughter easing away the tension. The humour fades away as Abra is introduced. The medium shot reveals his personality as a no-nonsense and aggressive character. At that point, the sound effects stop and the scene moves from subtle to action. Fear is written all over the Montague's faces. The camera is zoomed intro Benvolio's friend's gun patch. This shows the rivalry between the two families. Various shots of medium and zooms are used to show us the weapons of both families and gives the viewers an indication that something bad is about to happen. The fast music suddenly stops to ease the tension once again. Abra scares them by opening his metal teeth and an extreme close up is used so we can see it clearly. The camera moves the action to the rear view mirror in which Abra sees that one of the Montague boys is biting his thumb t him. ...read more.


Benvolio's weak eyes are also revealed and there is a sharp contrast of both characters' personality. Suddenly, one word from a child triggers Tybalt's aggressive side, and he plucks out his gun and pointed it to an innocent child. This shows the theme of violence from the onset. The mother is seen screaming with gun shots and crazy rampant scenes of violence developing in the petrol station. The petrol falls on Benvolio and this implies that the case has gone from bad to worse and there is going to be a fire- as petrol and fires should never mix. The camera reveals a long shot angle to show what the atmosphere looks like. Tybalt removes his jacket with the speed of lightening, drops to the ground and reloads his gun. At this point, the camera concentrates on the lower part of his body to show us how he does it. The fast- pace music dies down and just as there is peace and understanding in everyone's face, the match dropped on the petrol. This scene is now like a battlefield, where it is all about the survival of the fittest. Suddenly, the opera music starts again, but this time to relax the viewers. ...read more.

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