How does Baz Luhrmann's gain sympathy for Romeo and Juliet and engage the interest of a modern audience?

Essay by spazzyslut69A-, November 2006

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Baz Luhrmann's production of Shakespeare's classic play "Romeo and Juliet" is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue. Clever details and a mix of modern props and Shakespearian language have helped this film become hugely popular through the years since its release in 1996. Luhrmann uses many techniques to ensure that he engages the interest of a modern audience by rejuvenating a classic story made more personal to today's demanding audience.

Romeo and Juliet first meet at a party held at the Capulet mansion. The party is a fancy dress, full of people showing off their colourful and flamboyant costumes. Romeo and Juliet's costumes however are traditional and well suited to both their characters and to each other. Romeo is a knight, possibly portraying him as Juliet's knight in shining armour, and Juliet is an angel showing her purity and innocence.

The scene in which Romeo and Juliet first meet is one that is instantly different from that amidst the actual party. The music suddenly changes from fast paced and loud, to much more serene and soft creating dramatic interest for the audience. These changes show that something significant is about to happen and pulls the audience in. Romeo and Juliet first see each other through the fish tank between the bathrooms. Camera angles are quite a large feature of this scene moving between Romeo and Juliet's faces. The fish tank is a clear barrier between the two characters clearly showing their separation although they are visually connected. Both Romeo and Juliet's faces and surroundings are of quite muted colours but the fish darting between them are bright, and could be reflecting feelings of hope or of new feelings arising between the young couple. The two are then...