Consider the opening sequence of Baz Luhrmanns 'Romeo and Juliet'. Comment on the ways in which the director presents the themes, Characters and plot to the audience.

Essay by louisekcHigh School, 10th grade February 2006

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In Romeo and Juliet' Luhrmann sets out to present Shakespeare's original play in a contemporary setting. His Target audience is teenagers and young adults, maybe people who don't know the story of Romeo and Juliet. The director aims to make it seem modern and exciting whilst still using the original lines from Shakespeare's play. The setting of the play is 'Verona beach', which looks like a modern American city. The director chooses this setting because it's easier for people to relate to it, and is relevant and familiar to a modern audience. Despite the significant change in setting, it still fits the context of the story.

The director uses a wide range of camera shots to create certain impressions on the audience. The film starts with a long shot of a TV, with a newsreader. The camera slowly zooms in to a close up of the newsreader, which grabs the viewer's attention.

The TV is on a black background, which means there is nothing to distract the viewer from what is being shown on the TV screen, emphasising what is being said by the newsreader.

The scene then changes dramatically, to shots looking down on the city, and the words 'In fair Verona' Flash up on the screen. This dramatic start shows the viewer the setting and location of the story. There is then a shot of a newspaper spread showing pictures of the Capulet's and Montague's and the statue of Jesus. This introduces the two families without giving too much of the plot away. It also encourages the viewer to keep watching because they will want to know more about who the 'Montague's' and 'Capulet's' are.

There are then flames, which give way to the newspaper headline 'Montague V Capulet.' The fire is symbolic of the main...