Baz Luhrmann has adapted William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet play and turned the tragic love story into an action packed love thriller. Luhrmann adapted this play in 1996. This film was a huge success in capturing the imagination of it target audience – young people. Baz Luhrmann adds more modern props music and action to his film this is to make it more captivating for a younger mainstream audience.
The prologue at the start of the film is on a little television in a dark room so immediately the audience is watching. Luhrmann then zooms into the television at the news report. The effect of this is to let the audience relate to this as if it was happening now. Baz Lurhmann added a shot clip in this clip the setting and storyline are introduced. This adds verisimilitude to this as it is a shot in a helicopter as if it was on a news report. The fight scene occurs at the start of the film the captures the audience’s attention and keeps them captivated. This scene is set in a petrol station rather than a town square. Luhrmann set it in a petrol station as it is modern and a place where lots of people will go.
The opening fight scene occurs at the very beginning of the film, this scene creates a violent chaotic and angry environment. It also creates an image of hate between two families. The film is set in Verona; Baz Luhrmann chose to set it in Mexico as it is dirty and a typical hot country. From the setting we can also learn that there is a big class difference the Capulets and Montague’s. This is shown in there clothes and cars; the Capulets have a very stylish clothes they are dark with religious symbols on them and are very wealthy this is shown by there car it has tinted windows and customized whereas the Montague’s car is bright colored and the clothes they wear are Hawaiian very bright with pictures of palm trees on them.
This scene is suggests that the target audience is young or old males, this is because males usually prefer fighting action explosions examples of this are when the petrol station explodes and the fighting between gangs. This will appeal to a different audience rather than the original as it appeals to young males whereas the original appealed to females as it was a tragic love story.
The fight scene does not just effect the Capulets and the Montagues it also effects there families and the public as we see in the petrol station scene as the public are running away and peoples jobs are suffering from it. We also see this in the montage of images of there faces so most of the public will know about there brawls.
Baz Luhrmann used freeze frames to introduce the main characters. Freeze frames of Tybalt, Benvolio and Abra were used in this scene. Abra capulet’s freeze frame is a close up low angle shot, this gives the effect that Abra is powerful as it shows him from a low angle. Baz Luhrman also uses close ups of the Montagues and Capulets car plates this lets the audience know who is who. There is a clear difference in the cars the Montagues is a vibrant yellow color whereas the Capulets car is a dark stylish car. The Capulets car is engine is a lion’s roar this is to make the Capulet sound dangerous.
Baz Luhrman used a lot of close ups in this film for example the close ups of Tybalt and Benvolios faces, this is to show the facial expressions on each character the effect of this is to see if the characters are scared or angry.
Baz Luhrman used old western films to get ideas for this film. The western genre is used a lot in this scene. There is a close up of Tybalt’s shoe when he steps out of the car, there is the sound of clinking of a cowboys spurs. There is also swinging signs this relates to the western theme as the swinging signs are meant to represent the swing tavern doors. Tybalt also smoke a cigar this is related as cowboys used to smoke cheroots.
Sound is a major part in this film Baz Luhrman uses a wide range of sound in this fight scene. Sounds are exaggerated and amplified to give mass effect. In the montage there is orchestral music this creates suspense and excites the audience. The pictures mix well with the music there is lots of woosh sounds in this scene this is to emphasis the movements of characters these sort of sounds had more style to the scene. There are explosions and gunshots in the last bits of the scene these sounds create a sense of action and drama, these sounds are diegetic because if we were there we would be able to hear them.
Costumes were used to distinguish between the two families. The Capulets wear darker colours, religious symbols and more stylish whereas the Montagues are more hip, the average Mexican with buttons undone more laid back. The Capulets clothes are dark with religious icons on their tops this shows us that they are very religious and care for god. They also have different patterns on there guns as we see in the two freeze frames that the Montagues coat of arms has a gun and skull this shows they are very violent.
This scene creates and exciting action feel for the audience. It creates a violent mood as there is lots of violence happening in this scene. It creates this by using amplified sounds, fast editing and a wide range of different shots.
Baz Luhrman adapted Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet by doing all these things so a younger audience could relate and have a better understanding in what is going on.