A modern version of Shakespeare’s original play Essay
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Baz Luhzmans “Romeo and Juliet” was produced in 1997 the film is a modern version of Shakespeare’s original play. This essay will analyse the techniques used, the effect the opening and its successes on a modern audience. The film opens in an unconventional, modern way in order to catch the attention of the audience, for example in the starting scene a T. V screen moves towards us (the audience) and at the same time it expands till it actually covers the whole screen.
The effect this has on audience is into a serious and concerning mood. I was also very impressed how the director modernized the scene. I believe what the director was trying to do was to stay faithful to the Shakespeare original play, so in other words he didn’t change the scene or the play but he showed every aspect of the play in a way so that the audience could relate to this scene, for example the director uses a News caster to read out the prologue, while Shakespeare original play used a narrator to read out the prologue.
The director headlines in magazines, newspapers and forecast to show key words in the prologue, for example in the News forecast they have a caption which is “Star crossed lovers”. The Characters are portrayed in an interesting and contrasting manner. For example the Montague’s are portrayed as childish, humorous, unorganized and this characteristics is believed to be a stereotype of adolescents, so that the audience can relate to this characters and the lifestyles of the characters, what the director also does is he makes the addressees relate to the Montague’s in order to gain the audience sympathy for the Montague’s.
While the Capulet’s are shown as mature, more organized, they are dressed in suits and also the Capulet’s characters display consistent behavior, they are always enraged, always ready to do battle and always out for blood, and this characteristics is also another typical stereotype but only this time this characters are portrayed as the Mafia. The director portrays them as evil and insincerity because they wear religious items while they live Sinful lives.
The effect that the contradiction of the Montagues and Capulets has on the audience is it makes the audience realise that there will be conflict. The director portrays Montague’s as humorous so this makes the audience laugh and he shows the Capulet’s as powerful evil hypocrites so this makes the audience more or less despite them, as they are the villains of the play.
The setting is carefully chosen to show rage and anger for example the scene at the petrol station conflict happens, petrol station symbolises fire and fire symbolises rage, danger and conflict. What the director once again does is he stays loyal to the Shakespeare’s original play but once again modernises for example, the original play was set in Verona while Baz Luhzmans “Romeo and Juliet” is set in U. S. A Verona beach. The effect on audience is the scene is set in L. A to attract a young audience so that they can associate to the familiar setting.
The language used in the film helps create a successful opening, in the Shakespeare’s original play he used a narrator to read out the prologue, the prologue is basically a summery of the play, there is few key words in the prologue which are the following ” New mutiny”, “Take their lives”, “Star crossed lovers”, “Ancient grudge”, “Fair Verona”, the director uses this key words from the Shakespeare’s originals plays prologue and uses this words as headlines, and he also uses this key words as captions in several different scene for example the starting scene at the news cast the headline is “Star crossed lovers”, The effect this had on audience was it attract the audience attention to important aspects of the play.
And I believe what the director was trying to do was to reinforce the spoken prologue in the captions he used instead of reciting it as Shakespeare’s did once again he modernized a scene in Shakespeare’s original play but still stays faithful to it.
There was a scene in a petrol station, in the petrol station there was a sign which was “Phoenix, add more fuel to your fire”, the language used here draws our attention further to the families conflict because we associate this words with anger and rage, because the first word Phoenix is associated with fire and hell. What the director does through out the film is he basically gives us the audience clues on what’s going to happen next.