Baz Luhrmann’s Interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet “Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona (where we lay our scene)
From ancient grudge break new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives”
This essay will explain film director Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation ofWilliam Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The film was made in 1996and set in a modern city such as Los Angeles or Rio de Janeiro.
In the film, Luhrmann has made many changes to it, but while stillkeeping it’s historical content, for example in the originalShakespearean play, knives are used whereas in this film reproduction,guns are used. Baz Luhrmann has modernized the film in the way thatmodern audiences can understand and relate to it such as the use ofcars and helicopters.
This particular essay will be focusing on four main parts – ThePrologue, The Fight Scene, Baz Luhrmann’s Portrayal Of the Charactersand my own opinions and the conclusion.
In the Prologue, at the very beginning, a short summery is introducedin the form of a black women reading the news. The camera has quite anold television set in the center of the screen with a black backgroundsurrounding it. This can show some form of anachronism because itshows a modern television set with a women reading the “news” which isactually the prologue in old English. As the Prologue begins, thetelevision set slowly zoom…
…he acts as though is is verymacho, but really on the inside, he is scared of fighting!
Luhrmann portrays Mercutio (Romeo’s best friend) as a fast talking,witty character. His costume is pretty laid back or casual. He is alsoseen as a cross-dresser because of his humourous costume at theCapulet’s. He is also a drug addict and is quite mad! His randomshooting in the sea may suggest a mental illness or depression.
In my opinion, the prolouge is very messy and quite disastrous, butthis cames across as a good thing because it shows the mess, disasterand destruction the families have caused.
I enjoyed the way Baz Luhrmann has included an audience in the keyscenes such as the Fight Scene because it is as though he has capturedour feelings and put them in the surrounding cowd so that we canrelate with them.