Critical Analysis of the Opening Extract of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet

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Critical Analysis of the Opening Extract of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet

Baz Luhrmann has used the three presentational devices in a specific way in his film 'Romeo and Juliet'. The point of this essay is to analyse them in the opening extract. The presentational devices are: sound; mise en scene; and cinematography. The elements of mise en scene are: why things are placed where they are; what the characters are wearing; body language and facial expression. Sound is quite obvious but there are many different types: Diegetic is sound which is heard as part of the film world; non-diegetic is sound which we do not recognize as part of the film world; parallel sound is music which we expect to hear
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Another use of mise en scene is the scene where the hip hop music starts and the Montagues appear driving down the street. They are wearing bright, flowery shirts. This gives the audience the impression that they are happy-go-lucky boys. We also see that the boys are confident and not very serious and, although they are have guns, they are just playing at being men. Luhrmann deepens this effect by choosing that they drive an open top bright yellow car.

The third mise en scene is when the Montagues are getting their petrol; the Capulets arrive at the petrol station. The audience, don't see the Capulets faces till they come out of the car, feet and legs first. Both their car and their costumes are black with catholic symbols. Which represents they are the complete opposite of the fun loving Montague boys. The Montagues are visibly scared by the Capulets which is shown in their facial expressions and their body language. This shows how much fear the Capulets can create. This contrast between them shows how different the two families are, although both are power hungry and stubborn. Luhrmann has done this to show what opposition both Romeo and Juliet have to go though to find love.

The second presentational device is cinematography. This is used effectively in the scene where a television set with a news reporter within it. The background is very dark and the
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