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How Does Luhrmann Make His Version Of 'Romeo And Juliet' Accessible For A Modern Audience?

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Introduction

Media Coursework How Does Luhrmann Make His Version Of 'Romeo And Juliet' Accessible For A Modern Audience? When Baz Luhrmann decided to make a modern film version of 'Romeo and Juliet', one of his main reasons for doing so was because he was such a big fan of Shakespeare himself. He wanted everyone else to enjoy Shakespeare's work as much as he did and he did so through the power of film. In other words he wanted to 'Re-reveal' Shakespeare to a modern society. But Luhrmann realised that the audience of today probably wouldn't appreciate Shakespeare's work if he made a film that was set in the old days. So he came to the decision that the language of the play would be mostly kept the same, but the film would be set in a modern world and with a modern society, that would include modern icons and objects so that the audience, (Late 20th Century, Early 21st Century), could understand the film properly. But to make the film version more accessible, Luhrmann had to read and update the play which presented him with a few difficulties. For example, as the play is over 500 years old, many values and settings from that time no longer apply for a modern society. ...read more.

Middle

I have chosen this because of the shootout and the explosion of the petrol station which are fast paced actions with lots of movement. The third genre would be drama. The tension when we first meet Tybalt and the dramatic scenes later in the film with Romeo and Juliet support what I think. The film gives many references to old gangster and spaghetti western films. When we first see Abra and Tybalt they are dressed as old gangsters from films such as 'The Godfather'. When we see Tybalt close up lighting the cigar he looks like a character Clint Eastwood plays in the old spaghetti westerns. As the audience is mostly American they would most likely recognise these kinds of movies so they would understand what Tybalt is doing. Comedy is also used in parts, to help the audience read the film. When Abra frightens the Montague boys, you are not expecting it, you except him to get his gun or start a brawl, so you cannot help but laugh. In some way it also creates tension as you think how the other side will retaliate. Also when one of the Montagues is shooting the petrol sign, this is another moment of comedy as he is doing it in a middle of a shootout, so it seems pretty stupid to be doing that at a time where he could easily be killed. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is an example of where pace has been injected into the film. We learn from the petrol station scene, the destructive side of the Montagues and Capulets, when the petrol station is set on fire. The burning symbolises the hell that the Montagues and Capulets have not only made for each other, but also for the other people of Verona Beach. It is also an effective way to close the first scene, which has done its job of introducing the Montagues and Capulets. To make a modern version of 'Romeo and Juliet' possible Luhrmann had the tedious job of editing the language used in the play, to a language the audience could understand. In some cases, objects in the film that we know, are not named as we know them, but are named after objects from the play that have been removed. In the film the characters refer to their guns as 'Swords' as that is the weapon they used in the play. They are supposed to be a sword series of guns, but Luhrmann has still kept the original language used in the play. As a sword and a gun are both weapons, which the audience knew, what Luhrmann did worked perfectly. In other words, Luhrmann keeps Shakespeare's language but uses visual images to help the audience understand. ...read more.

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