• 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. 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.

  1. On traditional fairy tales ogres are man-eating beasts. The prince usually rescues the Princess, ...

    him so he will move along the bridge a little bit faster. The reason Shrek is trying to help Donkey is that he is a kind and caring ogre unlike traditional ogres who are greedy and selfish. As Shrek is trying enters the castle we see that many other soldiers have died trying to save the princess.

  2. Free essay

    Romeo and juliet

    himself for a quarrel when the Capulets are around; "By my head, here come the Capulets." Tybalt is a similar character to Benvolio in the fact that he is a trouble-maker. He is looking to kill Romeo, making this the scene that holds the rest of the play together, but in an exciting and enthralling way.

  1. Jaws - Throughout the film the director has used various media devices in order ...

    obvious gap in this "circle of life"- where Chrissie was meant to have sat. This relates to the hunting patterns of all sharks, that they single out their prey as the one target outside the safety of a group. In this very same camera shot is also the first glimpse

  2. Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of Saving Private Ryan ...

    The desaturated colour continues in this scene and everything seems to be dull, the sea, the soldiers' uniforms and even the white sandbags have a dreary appearance. The only bright colours are the explosions of bodies and the blood pouring out, emphasising the horrors of war.

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

    character and that he is the opposite of Benvolio, a kind character who does not want to fight. From Benvolio?s first line, you already get an image of the type of person he is. He tries to make peace by saying, ?Part fools, you know not what you do!

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

    tracking and the way it fades out showing the viewer that the shot would carry on even further before it gets to ?Hunt? if the shot was not changed. This sense of distance from settlements means that if the character were to hurt himself then he would not be helped.

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