Analysis of Baz Luhrmann's Use of Cinematic Devices in the Opening Scenes of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Analysis of Baz Luhrmann's Use of Cinematic Devices in the Opening Scenes of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Baz Luhrmann's 1997 film version of Romeo and Juliet is updated to the modern age while still retaining the original dialogue. The opening shots are unusual but highly affective. Luhrmann starts off with a static long shot focusing on a TV in the middle of the screen. The television immediately explains that the story has been modernised. He then zooms in slowly, taking the audience with him as we wonder what is going on and what will happen next. The TV changes channel to …show more content…
There are more shots, such as low angled shots of a helicopter flying over the Jesus statue. Luhrmann flashes the words of the prologue on the screen. Even these words, sends out a religious message, all the T's are in the shape of crosses in relation to Jesus. A montage of clips from the film, acts like a small trailer before the film begins. It shows short clips of the film, in a very fast paced montage. This is affective at keeping the audience watching, as it shows clips of action and shooting which make you want to see the action in full.

After this montage, a screen wipe slowly moves across the screen as if it was a curtain opening the stage. After that it goes straight into the film where you are to see the tracking of a car with modern rap style music being played in the background. The camera freezes the actors into position, below the picture; the characters are introduced, using bold white writing. This makes us aware of their name, status, and house - Capulet or Montague. This is a clever way of showing who they are without having to concentrate on the Shakespearian language. In this case the caption says, 'The Montague Boys'.

They pull into a petrol station and the driver gets out to go to the toilet. On the other side of the pumps nearest the shop, the Capulet car pulls up. In both the families they all have
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