Critical Evaluation of "Romeo and Juliet" By Baz Luhrmann

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Eddie Nisbet 3B2 Critical Evaluation of "Romeo and Juliet" By Baz Luhrmann "Romeo and Juliet" directed by Baz Luhrmann is possibly the most famous love story of all time about the two star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Luhrmann had the task of remaking the classic play, written by the even more famous William Shakespeare, into a film that would appeal to a younger audience despite the Shakespearian language. Due to the language in the film, Luhrmann has to use many different techniques to help the audience understand what is happening or to help them relate to the story. The film is set in a fictitious city that is meant to be Verona in Italy but it looks more like a larger American city. This helps younger viewers relate to the film as many of them will live in large cities themselves. The most basic way of Luhrmann showing how different the Montagues and Capulets were was their race.


Another even more important way that Luhrmann shows Juliet is different is that she is white while her family are Hispanic. Another way Luhrmann gets round the difficult language of the film is by his use of casting. The two family leaders Lord Capulet and Lord Montague, played by Paul Sorvino and Brian Dennehy respectively have played many roles as gangsters. This gives the audience the right impression of them, nasty and unfriendly characters. Luhrmann also recruited Leonardo Di-Caprio, voted "The Most Handsome Peron on the Planet" who had a huge fan base before "Romeo and Juliet" so many of his young female fans would go to see the film just to see him. It would also make the film more enjoyable for them. Claire Danes was chosen to play the part of Juliet because she is pretty but not glamorous and this would make girls think that they don't have to be perfect to find a boyfriend.


Luhrmann's use of the music in the film is very helpful for people who can't understand the language of the film. The film starts with a lot of action and confrontations so the music is frantic and sounds like western cowboy-showdown music. By contrast, the first time the audience meets Romeo the music is very calm and soothing to show Romeo is very mellow and not looking for trouble or fights. The music also helps people know if something bad is going to happen. For example when Romeo and Juliet marry the music is happy and merry but for the next scene it changes to very deep and dramatic music, this is just before Mercutio is killed. When Romeo and Juliet realise they can never be the music changes to sad music. Some people may not have caught on to what was happening without the music but it changes effectively to show they can never be together. In conclusion, Luhrmann's techniques of producing a "Romeo and Juliet" film that appeals to a young audience were somewhat successful. Although the Shakespearian language is very difficult to understand at times young viewers still watch and enjoy the film.

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