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Show how Baz Luhrman's film opening attempts to the link the language of the original play to modern themes. How does it appeal to a modern audience?

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MEDIA STUDY HZ3 Show how Baz Luhrman's film opening attempts to the link the language of the original play to modern themes. How does it appeal to a modern audience? Romeo and Juliet is a famous play written by William Shakespeare. The play is a tragedy based on an allegedly true story. The play itself was written for the theatre. The story is set in Verona in Italy. The story is about two lovers who come from rich families, the Capulets and Montagues. Both of the families are sworn enemies. Their love brings tragic consequences. The play is known throughout the world. The two main themes in the play are love and conflict. The play is dominated by these themes. Themes include romantic love and passion between Romeo and Juliet and gang warfare between the Montagues and Capulets, family arguments and conflict between generation gaps. These themes are universal. These themes are common today just as they were four hundred years ago. However, there are differences between today and Shakespeare's times. One example of the differences is entertainment. In Shakespeare's time the only entertainment they had was live plays where as nowadays we still have live entertainment but most of our entertainment comes from television and c.d.'s, which is not live. ...read more.


I think other important images, which show the power of the families, are of the newspaper headlines saying 'from ancient grudge' and 'leads to new mutiny'. With all of these images I think the powerful religious music in the background adds to the excitement and tension. The main characters are then shown with still images and captions next to the photo suggesting they have a star status. I think Lord Capulet and Lord Montague are given a bit of the 'godfather' image. Again a criminal and violent idea is suggested. The still images and clips introduce those in the audience unfamiliar with the story to the family characters, these help them to quickly identify them in the following scenes. Interestingly Baz Luhrmann gives them modern names e.g. 'Ted Montague' The director has shown the personality of the Capulets and Montagues by there clothing. The Capulets are shown as smart, sophisticated and sleek in their well-cut suits. On the other hand the Montagues dress casual with their Hawaiian shirts and funky haircuts. This suggests they like to chill out and are more relaxed. The image of the Capulets supports Shakespeare view of hard Capulet being a powerful but violent man. ...read more.


Baz Luhmann used a modern city throbbing with violence and crime as the main concept. One modern image is of the boys fighting on the garage forecourt, a place easily identified by a modern audience. The setting is important for an audience brought up on NYPD Blue. Baz Luhrmann has used the car as an icon in the opening sequence, of scene 1. Nowadays people like to show their car as a part of themselves. Baz Luhrmann shows this by putting the name of the family, the boys belong to on the number plate. Again, this glamorous image appeals to the personality cult age and is a key ingredient of modern film culture On reflection I think that Baz Luhrmann has succeeded in making Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet for a modern audience. I believe that Baz Luhrmann has put a lot of modern themes backed up by visual images to support Shakespeare language. All the themes are related to love and conflict. These are theme that a modern audience likes to watch. I think that Baz Luhrmann could have put the film into Modern English because a modern audience would really get into it because they would understand more. But then it would not have been Shakespeare play, so I think the film gives us the best of both worlds. ...read more.

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