Discuss Baz Lurhmann's Interpretation of "Romeo + Juliet". Is it sucessful?

Essay by vlad5017High School, 10th grade August 2004

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The tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet, by Shakespeare was performed a few centuries ago in the Elizabethan theater. In 1996, the movie, Romeo + Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann was shown in our modern cinema. Using the same plot, language and theme, Luhrmann presents the audience with a new, yet controversial interpretation of the play. Baz Luhrmann's film Romeo + Juliet is a very successful adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. Luhrmann retains the same values and ideas of the play. By changing some elements of the play and incorporating modern and pop-culture elements into his film, Luhrmann made this classic love story relevant to modern viewers yet still focus on the same ideas that Shakespeare play conveyed to an Elizabethan audience. Luhrmann has successfully made use of music, characterization, visual imagery and a mix of genres to shape our perception of themes, setting and characters.

The Prologue sets the scene in both the play and the film.

In Romeo + Juliet, Luhrmann presents the Prologue as a news bulletin that gives the events a feeling of urgency. But the news broadcaster still retains the Chorus's function of telling the audience the events before they happen. Luhrmann presents Verona as a modern city, full of chaos and violence. In the opening scene, a series of aerial shots are taken across the cityscape, showing human casualties, police cars and helicopters, all these troublesome are watched over by the enormous statue of Jesus. The fair Verona that was once located in Italy has now moved to South America where it is closer to the Americans viewer and also has a strong Roman Catholic influence. Luhrmann also added many other settings into the movie, one of the most significant being the Verona Beach. The beach, through its connection with the sea becomes a...