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Analysis Of The Ways In Which Different Directors Have Produced The First Meeting Of Romeo And Juliet

2528 words - 10 pages

Analysis of the Ways in Which Different Directors have Produced the First Meeting of Romeo and Juliet

"Romeo and Juliet", undoubtedly one of Shakespeare's most famous and
loved plays, has been produced by many directors again and again over
the last 400 years. Those directors, who dare to take on such an
astounding play, have to deal with this sensitively enough to keep the
passion alive, especially throughout the sonnet. Two directors who
have accepted the challenge to are Baz Luhrmann in 1997 and the BBC
School's version. In my personal opinion, Baz Luhrmann's version was a
great success, appealing to teenagers and adults alike, showing the
passion and romance of this beautiful tragedy throughout it all. But
on the other hand, the BBC School's version, which was originally
intended solely for education purposes, is an extremely insipid
composition and included no romance or passion, all of which I felt
was an insult to Shakespeare. These two versions will be analysed by
focusing and commenting on these features; setting, costume, camera
shots, delivery of lines and music.

Firstly, the use of costume is particularly emphatic and effective in
Baz Luhrmann's amazing 1997 production. Baz Luhrmann has used his own
personal genius with the costumes, using Shakespeare's original
directions of masks, but also upgrading them to fancy dress costumes.
This device though it was very simple, is powerfully effective and
provokes sublime-style messages to the audience, through its
symbolism. Juliet, for example, is dressed as an Angel. Being dressed
this way, stimulates the audience into believing Juliet is innocent,
pure, virginal and heavenly. These hidden messages cause us to believe
it beyond our protest. Also in costume is Romeo, as a Knight, very
much so in shining armour. As a 'Knight' he has to save the 'Angel;'
[Juliet] from Paris who is dressed as an astronaut [to symbolize that
he is out of this world, and abnormal]. It is clear that all though
the characters are just dressed in costumes, it also aids us to
sub-consciously take things in and believe them, which was the
director's aim [to appeal to the 'sharp-eyed' viewers].

In contrast, the BBC School's version is the complete opposite. The
costumes in this version, are very traditional and bland, that do not
really have any effect on us at all. The only thing that they do
remind us of is the era. But, it is also noticeable that the costumes
had a lot of attention paid to them, and probably a vast amount of the
budget spent on them. I praise this version for its attempt to really
show the time period of the play through the costumes. Also, Romeo
wears a mask to show it is still a masked ball conforming to
Shakespeare's original directions. Baz Luhrmann's choice of costumes
had much more of an impact on me then the BBC School's...

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