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Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet Assignment

Baz Luhrman brings out a very effective opening sequence to the film Romeo and Juliet by adding a variety of poetic devices and the most important being, the introduction to the play, where it is set, the sound/music and finally the insignia/symbolism. Luhrman uses exiting music and powerful images to set the mood and the tone. The 1st prologue takes no sides and isn’t biased at all. It is completely neutral and shows both sides as equal. The lack of emotion distracts the viewers by using a lot of different clips from the film.

Firstly Baz Luhrman uses a news report for the prologue and repeats it 3 times very differently. The news reporter is a female who starts off the film it has a broken ring on the top corner which symbolises the tragedy of the two star crossed lovers. It is a very modern setting as you can see because he uses a colour TV set and a modern TV reporter. Another way the prologue is presented is through a deep voice by a male narrator. You cannot physically see him but only hear this typical, American, deep, male, voice.

This voice repeats the prologue again after the news reporter. At the same time you would see some visual pictures and some mini clips of some scenes from the play spontaneously in between these short captions you can see some short sentences which is the actual prologue which was written in Shakespeare’s play. These sentences are presented by newspaper and magazine headlines. In one of the sentences you could se a cross. This is used for the letter T: ” ake their lives.

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This symbolises the religion that they are Christians and it also symbolises the death for me because death also comes in the Christian religion because in the film when Juliet died she got put in the Capulet chamber in a church. Luhrman uses the prologue as a news item this shows the important statues of the Montagues and the Capulets and because he uses fast images it set the tempo of the film a lot of different symbols have been used throughout the whole play.

Like for example the characters are in a way a representative for each individual is dressed differently according to, what I think is, their personality. The parents of both families were dressed looking really rich which, you could get a sense that it meant power and wealth. The prince was wearing his uniform that was different to all the other police this also means power over others because the police are law and order in a way this shows that he has power over the other officers for he is different.

When the Montagues were introduced they where introduced in casual, ‘cool’ cloths, this shows that they are like cool party people in comparison with the Capulets now they were introduced very differently to the Montagues wearing leather jackets and suits, this represents money and that they are tougher in a way. For me this also suggests that they are more formal and that they also have power. The tattoos on the Montagues and Capulets are totally different which shows they are who they are for life and there is no going back to change.

They are dressed different but it doesn’t change the fact that they are equal, equal in respect equal in power and most importantly equal in ‘dignity. ‘ Finally there is Paris, he was dressed looking very formal in normal suits. Her it shows him as a kind and loving man and as an innocent bystander in the ‘ancient grudge. ‘ This can be told by the grin on his face. The quick snapshots from the film gives away clues to the plot and the mixture of different images this is used for direct link to the original work or the original play by William Shakespeare.

These clips would make the audience want to stay and find out what these scenes are about, and find out more about the play. Finally in the prologue Luhrman uses some fire works this shows the celebration maybe celebrating that the fact that Romeo and Juliet got together which led to the two families ending up together. There is no music on the first prologue this is because the news reporter is speaking and on the news you don’t have any music, but without the music the film is not that interesting to ‘explore,’ it becomes dull and boring but here it isn’t because she is telling us a little bit about what we are about to see.

You could only hear the sound, which broke the silence of the flicking through the channels. You might get the sense of TV and you’ll know that it is a film. The second and the third prologue had very loud music of high-pitched chorus introductory music. This also symbolises the religion because choired are mostly held in churches. You could here children singing and see violence at the same time this is a great comparison. Most of the music s mixed with sounds of gunfire, car crashes, fire works and police helicopters this all helps build up the violent elements in the film.

This shows the amount of violence that the film contains. You can tell by the prologue that the film is about love, romance and also action and violence. Overall the loud catastrophic music captures attention for the audiences and that the prologue is presented very beautifully I think that Baz Luhrman deliberately chose to write the play theatrical I can tell this because in theatres you start and end a play with curtains and here in the film it begins and finishes with a news reporter.

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