Romeo And Juliet Film Analysis

Decent Essays

The portrayal of adolescence in film is a relatively new concept, and one that many directors have attempted in their career to varying results. Some directors are able to capture the awkward, bumbling phase of adolescence perfectly. However, there are some representations of teenagers that cause much debate, and can generally leave viewers confused about the director’s intentions. On one hand, a director can undoubtedly celebrate teenage culture through a variety of techniques, however on the other hand they can criticise teenagers and their aimed demographic, in some cases simultaneously, and especially when adapting Shakespeare. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet is an adaptation that has stirred much controversy since its release, …show more content…

Judith Buchanan says that the story of Romeo and Juliet seems “narratable, containable, amenable to tidy, newsworthy summing up” . An important word to consider in that argument is the word “newsworthy”, as that is exactly Luhrmann’s intention; to reduce arguably the most well-known Shakespeare play to bite size pieces of teenage drama and an explosion of blatant symbolism. The extreme close ups to signs on police cars, newspaper headlines and shaky camera angles just after that short scene not only enhances Buchanan’s opinion, the urgency of this tale, but also sets the scene for the blatant product placement that is going to occur afterwards. Skyscrapers are also made the main focus of the prologue, which clearly displays the affluent lives of these infamous families with a notorious drive for conflict between them. When analysing the first ten minutes of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, it is easy to see where the comparisons for the MTV style music videos come from. Shots of the Montague boys are shown as the film bursts into life with bright, gaudy colours and close up shots of tattoos and fluorescent pink hair that screams teenage rebellion; something that Luhrmann’s intended audience are most likely to desire at this stage. Emma French supports this by claiming that Shakespeare films rely on “appealing to the ‘teenager as rebel’ stereotype”. The camera angles are used in these aforementioned scenes to develop the backstory between the main

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