Romeo + Juliet
Romeo + Juliet is a film based on the well-known play written by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. It was directed by Baz Luhrmann and is set in Verona, a city in Italy. In this essay, I will be describing the first scene in the film (the prologue), and explaining how verbal and visual features were used in this scene to suggest what the film would be about, things like violence and romance. I will do this by; describing what happened in the scene, I will then go on to explain what the first scene suggests and how it suggests it; next, I will describe symbols in the scene that are important to the fundamental understanding of the whole film and why they are important, and finally, I will talk about the usage and effect of montage in the scene and how it suggests what the film will be about.
The first image in the scene is that of a small, old fashioned TV (well, it was the ‘90’s), with a news presenter reading out the prologue in the form of ‘breaking news’. As she (the presenter) goes on, the TV slowly zooms in until it fills the screen. When she finishes, there’s a fast zoom that zooms in on the statue of Christ, and the words ‘IN FAIR VERONA’ freeze on the screen briefly. Intense choral music begins here. There is then a montage of shots of Verona, showing some of the effects of the Capulet/Montague grudge, the intense music still going on. A voice over of half of the prologue begins and another montage of police rallying, riots, chaos, headlines of quotes from the prologue flash through on newspapers. The sound goes quiet to hear the voice over. There is then an introduction to Ted and Caroline Montague, Fulgencio and Gloria Capulet, Mercutio, and the Captain Prince, their names and roles in the film as words on the screen, intense music going. Next, the words of a few of the lines in the prologue flash quickly across the screen, another montage, this time flashes of what’s to come in the movie. This scene finishes on the title of the...
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