Baz Luhrmann's Romeo And Juliet Essay

909 words - 4 pages

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a classic tale of rebellious youth and a pair of star-crossed, doomed lovers from feuding families, is giving a new dimension under film director Baz Luhrmann. Luhrmann inventively updated it to the blighted wasteland of Verona Beach, where Shakespeare's tragedy is set against a background of contemporary teenage street gangs and violence. The link between the society then and as we know it today is effectively captured and enhanced in this modern-day appropriation by the use of settings, props, editing, characterisation and filmic techniques.Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet opens and concludes with the camera slowly zooming in and out on a television ...view middle of the document...

Daggers, swords and knives used in the play are replaced by guns and pocket knives, emphasising the role of violence.The loud and vociferous Montagues with their pink buzz-cuts and colourful Hawaiian shirts cloaks themselves in a shield of false male bravado, easily penetrated by the sinister Capulets, led by the jealous and malevolent Tybalt. Their encounter results in a gas station being set on fire and the death of one Montague. During gunfire, the camera takes extreme close-ups of the gun, labelled 'Sword', and the eyes of Tybalt and Benvolio glaring hatred and loathing at each other.As a costumed Juliet leans on her balcony, in anticipation of the costume ball at the Capulet House, her gaze mesmerised by the magical bursts of fireworks, hinting at a magical evening filled with romance and mystery. The boisterous affair of the Capulet ball attracts a raucous crowd in vivid costumes. The central characters are dressed up in costumes which reflect their personality. Romeo is portrayed as Juliet's 'knight in shinning armour', Juliet dresses suitably as an 'angel' and her mother, 'Cleopatra', is seen appropriately exchanging passionate kisses with her nephew, Tybalt, the 'Devil'. The costumes at the ball combined with the noisiness prove too much for Romeo to bear and his world starts spinning. The viewer empathises with Romeo through a subjective shot, distorted to emphasis his state of mind by the rapid motion of the spinning room.Fire and water is used to intensify and highlight the relationship between the characters by linking Romeo and Juliet with water, which douses the fire of hatred between the...

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