• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does director Baz Luhrmann use cinematic devices to hook the audience in the opening sequence of Romeo + Juliet?

Extracts from this document...


How does director Baz Luhrmann use cinematic devices to hook the audience in the opening sequence of "Romeo + Juliet"? The part of the film we are studying is packed full of action. It has several different genres in this first eight minutes that include gangster, spaghetti western and action as well as Tybalt's melodramatic ballet moves. The audience is hooked because of the large amount of action and suspense. I am going to start by speaking about how Luhrmann uses iconography to hook the audience. The first major icon is the giant statue of Jesus standing between the two large skyscrapers, one with Montague on the top and the other with Capulet; this symbol could have several meanings. One is that religion is the only thing stopping the two families from all out fighting; another is that religion is the only thing separating the two families from being friends. After this the symbols are quite obvious but harder to deduce a meaning from them in the first viewing such as the sign in the petrol stations fore court that says "add more fuel to your fire", this is just what the Capulet and Montague boys are doing by fighting. ...read more.


This device works well because it can show superiority of a person. For example Abra fills the screen whereas the two Montague boys together don't fill the shot. This gives us the impression of Abra being a more aggressive, dominant character. This sequence relies heavily on setting so as to create an atmosphere of fear and suspense. The film starts with a TV screen right at the back of a black room; because the room is black it focuses our attention on to the screen. The camera zooms in closer to the screen and we go into it, as if we are going inside the story. Before we arrive at the petrol station there is a preview of what we are going to see in the movie and it introduces some of the characters. This preview has large parts of it taken from a camera in a helicopter, giving us the feeling that we are going to watch the story as it unfolds. The main part of this sequence is set in a petrol station. ...read more.


Finally Luhrmann shows the authority of captain prince over the two families by taking a shot that looks up to him in the helicopter making him seem very big. This is also emphasised by a close up that follows. The effect this has on us as the audience is that we feel small. This helps us to imagine how Benvolio and Tybalt feel surrounded by helicopters and armed police. The opening scene is fast and impressive. The modern setting helps the modern day audience understand Shakespeares' dialogue. Luhrmann is successful in hooking the audience because of his use of setting and drama. I think one of the main reasons you to continue watching is because of the action and the use of music/sound effects. However even if there was no sound you would still be able to watch the movie and understand it fairly well because of the over dramatic technique used. This is useful for people who may not understand the language that the original script was written in. In all I feel this opening sequence was a success in hooking the audience because of its accessibility to all age groups and all levels of intellect. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Audience and Production Analysis section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Audience and Production Analysis essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse how the music, camera angles, special effects and presentation of characters create a ...

    4 star(s)

    The way in which these two main characters are portrayed in this way creates a dramatic fight scene. Moreover, Baz Luhrmann creates a dramatic fight scene through the ways he uses different camera angles and shots in the scene. The first shot in the scene is an establishing shot, wide-angle

  2. The film I will be discussing is Dracula. The director of Dracula is Francis ...

    The camera angles used are another part of creating a film that is extremely important. If the camera angles are not accurate this would make the look unprofessional. At the start of the film there is a low angle shot of the church.

  1. Baz Luhrmann. How does the director of Romeo and Juliet make the film ...

    For example, the setting Verona is not needed because whatever happens in the play could happen anywhere. Also the phrase '' two hours traffic of our stage'' is not important as it only tells how long the play will last.

  2. In Search For A Prince

    Lord Farquaad seems like a typical Lord. He wears posh clothes a red cape and a hat. He is short. His home (castle) is big but with horrible people in it. If he marries a Princess, he will become king.

  1. How does the opening sequence to Baz Luhrmann's 1996-film version of 'Romeo and Juliet' ...

    Caplets Mexico, where they set 'Verona City', was known as the 'created world' as Shakespeare never went to Italy to study Verona's society when he wrote 'Romeo and Juliet'. "It was his vision as an Englishman, of this mythical Italianate country, where everyone was passionate and hot-blooded."

  2. Romeo and Juliet Opening

    This then leads to the long awaited fight, which not only affects the Montagues and Capulets, but also causes a lot of destruction to the city of Verona. The fight rapidly escalates as more citizens become involved and soon the heads of both households appear on the scene.

  1. How have film/visual codes and conventions in Baz Luhrmanns adaptation of Romeo and Juliet ...

    The use of extraordinary colours also helps with the setting as well as characterisation. Colours such as purples, pinks and yellows are bright and vibrant colours that we wouldn?t usually expect to see in a Shakespearean piece. However, these colours constantly come up, for example the families? cars, the clothes, the beach settings, people?s hair colour and more.

  2. How does the director of Mission Impossible 2 build intrigue and establish genre in ...

    John Woo uses fades to blur different shots together. This creates a sense that their has been a jump cut to a new frame or allows two images to be viewed at once. For example when the shot of the children singing ?ring-a-ring-a-roses? Woo uses a fade into a reaction shot of the character ?Vladimir?.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work