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Techniques Used By Baz Lurhmann In The Film Romeo And Juliet

1156 words - 5 pages

Techniques Used by Baz Lurhmann in the film Romeo and Juliet

In the film "Romeo and Juliet" Baz Lurhmann uses a number of
techniques in order to make the prologue more accessible for a modern
audience. This is done very effectively and it makes the themes easier
for a contemporary audience to understand. The main themes in this
film are love, religion, rivalry, violence and justice and throughout
the prologue we can see many images that symbolize these themes. For
example the statue of Christ overlooking the city lets us know how
important religion is for these people, and the numerous guns flashed
over the screen symbolizing the violence and rivalry between the two
families. Baz Lurhmann uses repetition, music, modern context, sound
effects, costume, types of footage and many other techniques to
explore the themes and de-mystify the language, making the themes
easier for us to understand.

The use of a news broadcast is used very effectively to draw the
audience's attention to the fact that something serious is being said
and taking place. This technique also sets the mood for the prologue,
the majority of people are always interested in news so the broadcast
will attract people to listen carefully. The female broadcaster speaks
in a very clear and well spoken accent so that she will be understood
by the viewers who need the story of Romeo and Juliet explained.

Another technique used over and over again is the use of repetition,
mainly when the man with a serious voice is talking and he repeats the
passage "in fair Verona, two star crossed lovers, take their lives",
twice fully and once partly. When the serious voice is played over and
over with the dramatic images played in the background, it forms a
multi-sensory approach as you can hear the man's voice and see the
images in the background.

The music in the prologue is also a very effective technique as it is
a slow dramatic type of music that forms a sort of love and death
effect. When we first hear this music we assume that there has been a
death or a tragedy of some sort. The music increases (crescendo) from
a slow paced song to a loud fast paced dramatic piece until it comes
to a sudden stop symbolizing a tragic end.

The sound effects in this prologue also have a huge impact on the
listening audience, like the turning on of the television, which
captures the viewer's eye and their attention. In the prologue we also
see a helicopter and the sound of its propellers. As soon as we hear
this we immediately associate this with war, chaos and violence. When
we hear this we sense that during the rest of the film will will be
experiencing tragic deaths and losses. Another sound which is
associated with violence is the sound of a gunshot telling us that
there will be people murdered and shot in the later stages of the
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