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Write an analysis of Baz Luhrman's opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet. How does it grab the audiences' attention?

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Introduction

Write an analysis of Baz Luhrman's opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet. How does it grab the audiences' attention? In the 1998 production of Romeo and Juliet Baz Luhrmann has caught the attention of the audience from the very beginning of the film. A television screen, media on media; the television screen comes closer and closer towards the viewer; it strikes your attention like a news flash normally would catch one person's eye. The news flash is of a lady (news reporter) saying the prologue. The picture in a little news box with a ring and a dagger in the middle of it, this is iconography so we know straight away this is going to be a love tragedy. This is a clever effect showing that the ring represents love and marriage and the dagger represents hate and storm; we therefore can guess that this is what the story will be about. The prologue is said once again with a powerful and deep voice over reminding one somewhat of a trailer, this makes the viewer look forward for more action, there are gun shots and fighting, and by this we can tell there is war. It reminded me of an action packed James Bond movie! Helicopters are then captured which show seriousness because they are filmed and captured at a fast rate, there are policemen in them with megaphones which only happens when a large crime is committed. ...read more.

Middle

They are very immature. A midnight blue, ferocious fast car with the number plate 'Caps 005'. It stops and out gets Tybalt, at this point Benvolio is in the toilet. The car grabs our attention enough but then we see these western metal heeled boots, and hear the noise they make as he walks lets us know that this is not the right guy to mess with and Tybalt has already created a macho 'scary' character for himself. He steps and twists his boots on the wooden match and it crumbles to pieces and I thought that represented strength. The camera starts from his shoes and works his way up so we can see exactly what he is wearing. He has a very Latino look, he is dark and very mysterious looking, he's wearing a black waist coat with a very big red picture of Jesus, they way he is dressed reminds me of the mafia, dark, religious, sinful and unemotional... The music changes and it was very western. Baz Luhrman has made it so that their clothes, the way they speak and the music that is played portrays each family's personalities and they create the atmosphere. The Capulets have a muscular look and very stereotypical 'bad guy' outfits on. I think Baz has made the two families look and act differently to make them very different and divided and have nothing in common with each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

we then see a target pointing to them, this makes the effect of an assassination like the famous public killing of J.F Kennedy maybe. He then, in a petrol station, throws his cigarette out of his mouth which is a bad idea and he starts a fire, the music then comes on again as the whole petrol station is burning. We then see a poster on the wall being burnt saying 'Montagues Vs Capulets'. This shows that this is real war. We see rage, the whole city getting involved, helicopters, the viewers begin to feel this tension and feel part of what is going on. Baz Luhrman grabs the audiences' attention by using a different contrast of music and linking the different genres in to characterisation. We can tell that these boys have power and they must be well known for their hatred towards each other if there are posters on the wall. The fire shows how their hatred burns and they are then stopped by the police and asked to put their long swords down. Baz Luhrman has used few Shakespeare words and has made this interpretation more of a modern one, more action packed, exciting and enjoyable for today's audience. His colourful and exciting version of a classic love tragedy with its fast editing and special effects has successfully brought us in to the 20th century. By Cristina Gizzi 10J Cristina Gizzi 18/12/2007 5:10 PM ...read more.

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