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Analysis Of Luhrman's Production Of Romeo And Juliet

3601 words - 14 pages

Analysis of Luhrman's Production of Romeo and Juliet

Baz Luhrman has effectively transported Shakespeare's, 'Romeo and
Juliet' from a 16th century play to a 20th century film. Using the
same text but different settings and resources, the film contains the
essence of the play with technological advances. There are many things
to consider when analysing the adaptation of a scene. Baz Luhrman has
adapted the party scene by using many methods whilst still holding on
to the original Shakespearian mixture of love, hate, excitement,
foreboding and passion.

The type of shots that were used throughout the scene were all very
different. The scene begins with an extreme close-up, low level shot
of Mercutio's number plate; this immediately establishes the character
and his flamboyant nature. Luhrman uses close-ups throughout the
'Mercutio at Sycamore Grove' chapter, for example, of the ecstasy
tablet with a picture of a heart on it. Luhrman has chosen to give the
audience such a detailed picture of it because the heart is
significant. The extreme close-up has been used to express the idea
that love is like a drug and we see this idea explored throughout the
scene. Another close-up used is that of the invitation but this is
purely for the information of the audience so they know how Romeo, a
Montague, got into a Capulet party. Luhrman also uses an establishing
shot of the young Montagues dancing on the old stage, again, for the
audience's knowledge. There are many close-ups also of Romeo looking
up at the stars and fireworks. In order to put the audience in the
same position as Romeo, Luhrman uses low-angle shots of the fireworks
and sky, to emphasise the idea of fate and the stars. The magical mood
created by the fireworks is emphasised by another close-up of
Mercutio's magic trick with a trinket box this adds to the atmosphere
and feeling that 'anything could happen'. The Queen Mab speech itself
is said by Mercutio's character with increasing speed. The camera
angles reflect this, and the increasing passion of the character, by
moving around more quickly until Mercutio screams when it finishes on
a slow shot of a firework. I believe that this end to the speech is
showing that Mercutio is as volatile and flamboyant as a firework.
Another subtle choice of camera angle is during Romeo's premonition.
In this scene it is a low angle long shot with Romeo walking towards
the camera but when it actually happens the shot is from behind. This
choice has been made because looking from below gives the feeling of
insecurity and helplessness which, when you believe that your life is
in the hands of the gods, is how you would feel.

Luhrman uses specific camera angles and shots to show the effects of
the drug that Romeo takes. The shots are different each time and come
very quickly, disorientating the...

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