Baz Luhrman's Film Romeo And Juliet

4593 words - 18 pages

Baz Luhrman's Film Romeo and Juliet

In the film "Romeo and Juliet", Baz Luhrman said that he was trying to
recreate the impact of the original Elizabethan production for a
modern mass audience. I am trying to find out the challenges he faced
and how he solved them and say how successful he was in making the
script work for a modern audience.

The problems faced by a modern director of "Romeo and Juliet"

Shakespeare's original audience and theatre and the style and drama

Shakespeare's original audience was made up of the whole social range.
At one end of the social scale were the working people. These were
known as the groundlings because they were poor. They paid less and so
they had to stand up throughout the whole performance. Richer people
were seated on galleries and also on the balcony. The Queen at that
time (Queen Elizabeth I) also went to the theatre. The style of drama
at that time would seem boring to a modern audience such as: the
clothing, setting, sound, props. In those days the audience wanted
action, this was shown at the beginning, also in act 3 scene 1
(between Romeo and Paris), the audience wanted high drama, violence
and also comedy. The comedy that Shakespeare included in his play was
quite rude e.g. act 1 scene 1 "maidenheads" also Mercutio was being
sexually rude "knockabout", also the servants in act 1 scene 5 doing
verbal wordplay such as the word "puns" was included. In those days
this comedy was funny but now it is not known about and does not seem
funny to us. The audience wanted romance which Shakespeare included
through Romeo and Juliet and the passion created between them. The
audience wanted blood, murder, bodies and the people who were murdered
were Tybalt by Romeo, Paris by Romeo, Romeo and Juliet. In those days
all actors were men, there was no scenery or lighting and if people in
these days watched it then they would have been bored.

Baz Luhrman on the other hand wanted to set Shakespeare's plays back
on screen and this only would work if he changed the setting, props,
clothing and also make the language understandable to a modern
audience. First of all he did not include the fight between Romeo and
Paris and made then as if they never met each other. He changed the
setting when it should be the balcony scene which should be set on a
balcony was changed to be set in a pool. Also Baz Luhrman changed act
3 scene 1 to be set at Sycamore Grove. The props were changed by the
swords being guns and the movement was acted as if it was swords. The
clothing was changed from have old fashioned long clothing to t-shirts
and shirts and cowboy clothes and trousers. Shakespeare's plays were
only acted out by men but now women are allowed to take part and so
Baz Luhrman put women in is well, He did this because if a man was
acting as Juliet then they...

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