Baz Luhrman’s Film Romeo and Juliet Presents the Same Themes and Story Line as Shakespeare’s Play

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Romeo and Juliet

Baz Luhrman’s film Romeo and Juliet presents the same themes and story line as Shakespeare’s play. Luhrman created an exciting version to appeal to a modern audience using different camera techniques, props, costumes and a buoyant soundtrack.

The film portrays the central characters according to their actions and feelings in the play, however the appearances of the characters are different to suit a modern audience. The costumes used are set to suit the characters, Juliet-angel, Romeo-knight and Paris- astronaut. In act 1 scene 5, when Juliet is dancing with County Paris at her family ball, Paris is dressed in an astronaut costume. This gives the audience an image that Paris is intelligent, conservative and has good morals.

Romeo is portrayed as a young love struck boy who believes in love at first sight as in the original Shakespearean play. “O she doth teach the torches to burn bright”, “As a rich jewel in and Ethiop’s ear”. Baz Luhrman uses close-ups and low angles to show emotion and depict that Romeo is a powerful character.

A theme that is central to the play is love. Shakespeare reveals the love of Romeo and Juliet throughout the play. Shakespeare uses phrases like “O speak again, bright angel” and “With love light wings did I o’erperch these walls”. To enhance this theme Baz Luhrman uses camera techniques and sound effects. Examples of the camera techniques used are the reflections in the fish tank when Romeo and Juliet first meet. When they are kissing the camera spins around and when they are being pulled away from each other the camera slowly zooms out. Sound effects such as the tracks “Young hearts run free” when going to the Capulet’s ball and “Kissing you” when Romeo and Juliet first meet. These are modern tracks, which have a strong effect on appealing to a modern audience.

Power is also used greatly as a central theme to the play. Shakespeare reveals power through Prince Escalus and both well-known houses, Capulet...
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