Romeo and Juliet Essay

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Romeo and Juliet essay

Baz Lurhman's modern film interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has been a very successful transformation of the classic, original play to a modern context of Los. Angelos gang warfare. Lurhman's film manages to relate the 16th century play to a modern audience while at the same time maintaining textual integrity of the play. He has retained the plot, and language of the original text at the same time as conveying Shakespeare's original thematic concerns of the purity of young love, and the dangers of family feud. He achieves all this through the clever use of a variety of film techniques in three key scenes; the Capulet ball, the balcony scene and the fight involving Mercutio, Tybalt and Romeo.

The theme of the purity of young love is first revealed in the costume ball scene. The scene is introduced after Romeo takes an ecstasy pill before he attends the Costume Ball. The scene begins with rapidly edited mid-shots and close-ups to emphasize the madness of the party and effects of the drug, which reflects the theme of youth versus age. After the rapid cuts, a close-up follows it, on Romeo's face underwater, symbolizing the cleansing and purification of water. After Romeo ascends from the water, music is played to establish a calm and peaceful attitude juxtaposed against the party music, which is demented and crazy and is played in the costume ball lobby. In keeping with the tempo of the slow, embracing music that enhances the romance of the scene, Romeo moves over to the fish tank followed by a slow panning shot and stares at it meaningfully. Shortly after Romeo meets the eye of Juliet, establishing the theme of the purity of young love as they are staring at each other through the water, which was earlier represented as a source of cleansing. Moderate cuts of close up shots establish that both Romeo and Juliet are infatuated with each other "Did my heart love till...
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