Romeo and juliet: Analyse and evaluate the opening of Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo and Juliet'

Essay by lucyduttonHigh School, 10th gradeB+, June 2004

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In 1996 Baz Luhrmann took the famous Shakespeare play 'Romeo and Juliet' and transformed it into a successful modern day adaptation. The film was an enormous hit and Luhrmann, as a director, became recognised and respected. Whilst putting in his own thoughts and ideas he maintained the original script and Shakespeare's own interpretations on the characters and their feelings in addition to their personalities. I am going to write about and analyse the opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet up until when the two families leave the gas station as it explodes into a sea of flames.

The first shot in the film is one of a newsreader telling the story or Romeo and Juliet; 'two star crossed lovers'. The newsreader is speaking the original prologue from Shakespeare's play and reads it in an informative and neutral tone. The newsreader's screen is positioned in the centre of our own television and is surrounded by nothing but empty black space.

There is no detail, or music so that we are not distracted from the prologue and our full attention is on what is being read. The fact that we are not being diverted from the newsreader shows the great importance of what she is reading. This is a great way to start the story and grabs the viewer in for an exciting story of love, hate and loss...

When the news reading has been read there is a fast zooming-in shot into Verona City with a 'woosh' sound effect accompanying it. Fast, dramatic, opera style music begins to play. The tension builds up and there is a sense of anticipation and drama. There is then a caption reading 'In Fair Verona' which appears twice amongst other clips. These other clips are taken from further on in the film giving a taster...