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Analyse how the music, camera angles, special effects and presentation of characters create a dramatic fight scene in the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Analyse how the music, camera angles, special effects and presentation of characters create a dramatic fight scene in the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet uses various aspects of Act 3 Scene 1 to create a dramatic fight scene. This film, from 1996, displays the Shakespearian play in a modernised world, with the film set in Los Angeles, and various modern props are used, such as guns and cars. This film, like the play, presents the rebellious feud between two rival families: the Montagues' and the Capulets. This leads to conflict created by the younger members of the families and, with the introduction of modern weaponry, creates a more violent action scene. Luhrmann tries to emphasise the significance of this pivotal scene through his choice of soundtracks, camera angles, special effects and presentation of characters. Firstly, Baz Luhrmann creates a dramatic fight scene through the ways the characters are depicted along with their costumes. The first character shown in this scene is Mercutio who, at this point, is shooting bullets into the sea, which could convey that he is the troublemaker who starts the brawl between the Montagues and the Capulets to create a dramatic fight scene. Although his actions convey acts of trouble, his shirt emphasises his innocence. Mercutio wears a plain white unbuttoned shirt, displaying his innocence and pride in contrast to his irresponsible behaviour. His costume describes the fact that he is neither a Montague nor a Capulet as he is a relative of the Prince. ...read more.

Middle

When Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt, Romeo falls on his knees and Luhrmann uses an overhead high angle shot to convey Romeo's submissive position and follows this with a low angle shot of Tybalt to show his dominance. This effectively conveys the power struggle between the two families, creating tension and drama. Also, the close-ups of the characters demonstrate the emotions and emphasises the significance of Romeo's words "Be satisfied". This displays how Luhrmann's use of various camera angles effectively portrays a dramatic fight scene through how they reinforce the emotions of the protagonist. Finally, Baz Luhrmann creates a dramatic fight scene through the ways he portrays Romeo after he kills Tybalt at the end of the scene. After Romeo shoots Tybalt, the camera cuts to a close-up of Romeo's shocked face, conveying the fact that he has realised that this latest slaughter of Tybalt could determine the downfall of his relationship with Juliet. This is also depicted by the quick cut to Juliet just as Romeo shot Tybalt, which suggests that just like Romeo's expression the new bond between the Montague and the Capulet could be short lived. After the underlying close-up of Romeo's face, the camera reverts to a wide-angle crane-shot which shows the murder scene of Tybalt from the perspective of the statue of Jesus. This shot suggests that Romeo is small compared to the statue, which resembles the power of the gods in this dramatic scene. In Shakespearian times gods were thought to have power over men's lives, which is depicted in this scene, especially after Romeo shouts, "I am fortune's fool". ...read more.

Conclusion

This raises the tension within the audience, as they also realise the mistake Romeo has just committed to and so they feel sorry for Romeo for his immature behaviour of a tragic hero. In conclusion, the music, camera angles, special effects and presentation of characters creates a dramatic fight scene in the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet. The camera angles are effective in the sense that they display the viewpoints and the expressions of each character as the film progresses, such as the worried expression of Benvolio as he delivers his "mad blood stirring" speech, which conveys a worried feeling to the audience. The costumes further express the behaviour of the characters, such as Benvolio's unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, presenting a sense of rebellious but innocent attitude, conveying to the audience that they are typical young men, immature but can look after themselves. The various special effects used create tension upon the drama that has been acted, such as the crack of thunder after the killing of Tybalt, which indicates that the heavens are angry at the death that Romeo has just committed, therefore the audience feels sorry for the immature behaviour of the tragic hero. Finally, the soundtrack further creates tension upon the drama that has been acted, such as the diagetic sounds of the car's engine and the crash, which emphasises the tension between the two drivers, Romeo and Tybalt, and the anger of Romeo as he seeks revenge for the death of Mercutio. The sound of the cars crashing further creates an experience of rage and intensity for the audience. ?? ?? ?? ?? George Lawrence 5E3 MEDIA COURSEWORK ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

An excellent essay. The question has remained at the forefront consistently and has been answered with confidence and style. Media language is used throughout although it would be nice to see this student develop some use of media theory as well.
****

Marked by teacher Paul Dutton 18/07/2013

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