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Romeo And Juliet: Analyse And Evaluate The Opening Of Baz Luhrmann's 'romeo And Juliet'

2849 words - 11 pages

In 1996 Baz Luhrmann took the famous Shakespeare play 'Romeo and Juliet' and transformed it into a successful modern day adaptation. The film was an enormous hit and Luhrmann, as a director, became recognised and respected. Whilst putting in his own thoughts and ideas he maintained the original script and Shakespeare's own interpretations on the characters and their feelings in addition to their personalities. I am going to write about and analyse the opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet up until when the two families leave the gas station as it explodes into a sea of flames.The first shot in the film is one of a newsreader telling the story or Romeo and Juliet; 'two star crossed lovers'. The newsreader is speaking the original prologue from Shakespeare's play and reads it in an informative and neutral tone. The newsreader's screen is positioned in the centre of our own television and is surrounded by nothing but empty black space. There is no detail, or music so that we are not distracted from the prologue and our full attention is on what is being read. The fact that we are not being diverted from the newsreader shows the great importance of what she is reading. This is a great way to start the story and grabs the viewer in for an exciting story of love, hate and loss...When the news reading has been read there is a fast zooming-in shot into Verona City with a 'woosh' sound effect accompanying it. Fast, dramatic, opera style music begins to play. The tension builds up and there is a sense of anticipation and drama. There is then a caption reading 'In Fair Verona' which appears twice amongst other clips. These other clips are taken from further on in the film giving a taster for the rest of the story. The clips form a fast edited montage containing various images of the city and sections of text. The fast, opera style music is still playing and gives impact. There are lots of different shots included in the montage, such as a 'rack zoom' out, to show that the statue of Jesus is 'flanked' by two buildings twice its size: the Montague Capulet mansions. Religion clearly plays a major role in the lives of the characters living in Verona, and it is a key theme which runs thought the play. This is shown by several references during the film of religious imagery. The fact that the enormous Montague and Capulet mansions outdo even the statue of Jesus shows the vast importance of the families and the effect they have over the city.Many of the images in the montage create a chaotic mood. Most of them have a dark and melancholy feeling about them which links to the final outcome of the story, revealing death and devastation. There are images of destruction, shooting, death and sadness. There are clips of the two families, after Romeo and Juliet's deaths and also of police cars and reporters. The music from the start is still running and continuing with the sense of drama. The images give us (the viewer) an insight into the fast, chaotic lifestyles of the...

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