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Romeo and Juliet coursework

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Introduction

To what extent does Baz Luhrman succeed in engaging a 21st Century audience in the opening of "Romeo and Juliet"? "Romeo and Juliet" by Baz Luhrmann is an adaptation of the play written by William Shakespeare. It is quite new and had a star-studded cast and was screened in cinemas worldwide however the producer Luhrman kept to the script of the original Shakespeare play so that it does not lose any authenticity, by doing this he had to try and make it modern in other ways therefore he used many different aspects of the play to engage a 21st century audience such setting the film in a big city and using new technology yet those same aspect can be argued deterred a modern audience whom have a negative view of Shakespeare as they see his work as outdated in today's society, in my opinion Luhrmann succeeds in engaging a 21st century audience. Firstly, the play is set in a metropolitan city with vast skyscrapers and many flashy lights. In modern times this is a typical urban view as urbanisation has engulfed many rural parts of the world to create huge cities. In the film the two families of the Montagues and Capulets are shown to be business rivals, this is done by Luhrmann by putting two huge towers which have their names on them facing each other and he places the towers right in the middle of the city. ...read more.

Middle

In the film, the exact wording of Shakespeare is used and when confrontations happen it was mainly with swords. Luhrman overcame this problem by ingeniously using guns with the brand name SWORD. By doing this, it instantly makes the film more engaging as this is the main weapon of modern warfare and gang violence. Guns are very controversial items and normally modern audiences are attracted to controversy because of its opposition of main stream society. As well as that, guns can make the fighting scenes much more dramatic as there is the possibility of death to anyone not just the people fighting, also the audience can relate to guns but swords have become museum artefacts with regards to the weaponry available now. In addition, the cars driven by the Montague's and Capulet's were the colours of their respective families and had their names on the number plates; this shows the audience their pride but also keeps reminding the audience of the difference between the two families. Using props such as the colour of the cars and the number plates, Luhrmann is able to help the audience get the "gist" of the rivalry and status of the two families without a protracted period of the play being used to explain such a simple matter. Being shown this straight from the beginning makes the audience want to know what will come of the problems and when they will tip over. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience can realise that he is an important character as he enters the play with everyone looking at him, the attention on Tybalt engages a modern audience because the exaggeration of Tybalt's boots and the whole surroundings stopping for him emphasises his status. As well as that, there is a piece of music that runs through all the calm parts of the film that are about to introduce Romeo which suggests something about his character like the fact that he is very calm and quiet. In conclusion, overall I think that Baz Luhrman succeeds in engaging a modern audience because of his use of a modern setting. He sets the play in a busy city. As well as that he uses lighting, sound and a variety of settings to make this film very recent and a 21st century audience would watch the film regardless of the Shakespearean language which would normally negate a modern audience. On the other hand I think the introduction of Romeo to the play using very predictable shots and the costume of Romeo make the film a bit predictable and make it less unique. In my opinion, the best technique used by Luhrman to engage a modern audience is the different props used to try and consulate for the language such as the guns that were called SWORD ?? ?? ?? ?? Ali Issa 11G1 ...read more.

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