How To Account For The Success Of Romeo And Juliet By Baz Luhrmann

3575 words - 14 pages

How to Account for the Success of Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann

“The play re-worked for MTV.” This is just one of the many ways Baz
Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet has been described after the director
dramatically changed the way the world sees Shakespeare. The
controversial film shows us just how important Shakespeare still is no
matter how you try to change it. The classic, original play will
always be present in some way. The film’s success came with great
publicity, as this was the first time Shakespeare had been radically
updated to suit the teenage population and show us just how
Shakespeare keeps in touch with the modern world. The film was a
success because it was transformed and updated into the modern ages
and was still able to keep many elements of Shakespeare still
noticeably clear, with lines from other plays dotted all around Romeo
and Juliet to really show us just how the phrases and words of
Shakespeare relate to modern times. The film was described as “radical
invention of a classic text.” This shows us how easy it is to change
the way people think of an old classic text. The setting, the
costumes, the actors and the way he has cut the script all add up to
how Luhrmann has managed to change the way the world looks at
Shakespeare just in one simple film. His work on Romeo and Juliet will
definitely go down in history as he has managed to pull in a great
audience from the younger generation. This film immediately changed
the meaning and image of how people see Shakespeare. The image has
been changed from an old, outdated play written for people to enjoy
hundreds of years ago, into a film which attracts all kind of viewers
and makes them change their view on Shakespeare as he has proven he
critics wrong. Shakespeare’s old image is quickly discarded and a new
Shakespeare evolves out of nothing to prove just how essential he is
in our everyday life.

The play has been successfully updated in many ways. This is down to
the way Baz Luhrmann has managed to update the play to a wide range of
audience. The use of film devices throughout the play has played a
major part in the success of Luhrmann’s film. He uses a wide variety
of different camera shots to show us emotion, suspense and shock
throughout the play. He uses close ups to show the facial expressions
on the actors’ faces, which help us, see the emotion in which they are
feeling. When Romeo is chasing after Tybalt in his car, Luhrmann uses
a close up to show the rage and sadness in Romeo’s face. When Tybalt
murders Mercutio, he uses a distance shot to show the way the weather
changes and also to see the emotion in the background as well as the
actor’s on the set. Luhrmann modernises the costumes in the play to
bring it more up to date and more stylish towards the modern audience.

The way he has chosen the...

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