The key difference between the manner in which the film and the play deal with location is that the film is primarily an image-intensive medium that can visually show the audience the locale. Shakespearean drama, on the other hand, was written to be heard as an auditory experience. Shakespeare 's audience referred to going to hear a play rather than see it, emphasizing that the Elizabethan theater was an aural rather than visual experience.
Midway through this film is a pivotal event: It happens on a palm-fringed beach front: As Romeo and his Montague friends begin to react to what has happened to Mercutio, the camera draws back for an extreme wide-view long shot. In the foreground is the proscenium arch of what was once a grand theatre on the beach front.
The action is played out under and behind this proscenium, so that, in long shot and wide-view, we get the curious effect of watching a play from the upper circle in a theatre.
We the viewers are turned into observers, detached, God-like. In the background in the same scene a hurricane is approaching: The darkness rushes in to engulf them as the storm breaks over them.
Like the cloud-shadow in the funeral scene of Red River, there is a satisfying symbolism: Shakespeare intends it to be pivotal: Baz Luhrman has since revealed [in an interview with Kim Hill] that the scene was fortuitous: There is a serendipitous 'metatextual' quality to this anecdote: Fate intervenes in the making of the story as it does in the story itself.
This 'metatextuality' is clearly the overt intention of the director. It is signalled explicitly in the way the film begins: As the channels change, we see the first credits: On the studio screen behind her is a broken wedding ring, with 'I love thee' inscribed.
From a close-up shot of 'Montague' tattooed into the back of a close-shaved head, we are quickly immersed in some turf warfare at a filling station between the 'Capulet Boys' and the 'Montague Boys': Act I scene 1, with much of Shakespeare's dialogue intact, but the action and style of editing soon tell us we are seeing a parody of two genres: Tybalt's entrance, for example, borrows from the 'spaghetti western' genre, the cliched scene of the 'baddy' making his first appearance.
There is a close-up of the match as it falls to the ground beside a black cat-spurred boot.
Then follows the full panoply of effects from a modern action movie: The occasional slow-motion shot makes their moves seem balletic a reference, perhaps, to West Side Story?
The fight itself is impossible: So rapid is the cutting that we soon recognise the parodic quality of the whole scene. In moments, a crashing orchestral chord accompanies a wide-angle view of the whole area igniting in flames Another reference, this time to Hitchcock's The Birds?
This is a key image: This is an opening, in its own way, quite as arresting and as involving as, for example, Olivier's to Henry V, or Branagh's to Much Ado about Nothing.
Baz Luhrman signals his intentions immediately: Doublet and hose are now jeans and Hawaiian beach shirts; the streets of Verona are the beach frontage of what could be Baywatch; swords are handguns.
Although a television news presenter has replaced the Chorus, both have the same function: The television set, the newsreader, the newsroom's screen graphics and the fast-paced editing of the fight sequence become a Brechtian alienation device, signalling that we are watching a form of documentary reportage: In his final words, 'all are punished', he pronounces 'punished' in the Elizabethan manner, in three syllables, with the stress on the '-ed', and then repeats it, vehemently.
This offers yet another reference: The image pixelates into a television picture, and, as the camera pulls back, we see again the anchorwoman in her studio. She speaks to camera the final lines, which in the play are spoken by Prince Escalus.
This is the 'wrap' for the item, the image fades, and the television recedes into the distance. By thus framing the story, our detachment is preserved. We end as we began:Romeo and Juliet (Film ) study guide contains a biography of Baz Luhrmann, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About Romeo and Juliet . Critical Essays Analysis of Setting in the Opening Scenes of Luhrmann's Film, Romeo + Juliet Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List To assess Baz Luhrmann's use of setting in his film, Romeo + Juliet, we can begin by contrasting the film with the play as it was .
Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet" Words 5 Pages William Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet," set in 16th century Verona, Italy shares differences with Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet," set in modern day Verona Beach.
Mercutio is one of the most unique characters in Baz Luhrmann's movie "Romeo & Juliet".
His language is always powerful and imaginative. His language is always powerful and imaginative. He represents many different things in the play and holds an important role. Mercutio is one of the most unique characters in Baz Luhrmann's movie "Romeo & Juliet".
His language is always powerful and imaginative.
He represents many different things in the play and holds an important role. Clever, too, are the references to earlier films: Romeo, in bed with Juliet, plays at creating a tent with the sheet, enclosing them both. This recalls the scene in Zefferilli's film where Mercutio played with the Nurse's voluminous headdress in a similar way.