Baz Luhman and a More Accessible Romeo and Juliet to a Modern Teenage Audience

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Baz Luhman and a More Accessible Romeo and Juliet to a Modern Teenage Audience

Romeo and Juliet was written during the fifteenth century and the language and style is Elizabethan. Today the language is seen as incomprehensible to a young audience. This can cause many problems because Shakespearean texts are compulsory for students to study during their education. Usual responses to Romeo and Juliet are very negative as teenagers find the story inaccessible. However the essential storyline could be aimed at a young audience with themes of forbidden love, violence and family feuds. Therefore the main problem facing Luhrmann's film was not the plot but the language.

Luhrmann's film
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Therefore the opening scene of Luhrmann's film is very fast moving in places, with links towards other genres of film. Music also plays a big role, but the main feature is the mixture of modern day elements contrasted with the Shakespearean language.

The scene opens with a yellow open-top sports car. The frame freezes to show that the people inside the car are 'the Montague boys,' this is done in the style of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti western. The car is driving along an American highway and enters a gas station. Here the Montague's encounter the Capulet's also in a sports style car. A brawl starts between them and guns are used. Luhrmann has linked the guns with the script by inscribing the word 'sword' onto the guns, this allows the line 'put up your swords' to remain in the film but also means that the modern plot is not lost. As the scene continues Benvolio falls to the ground as the Capulet's try to shoot. Abram and Balthasar then hastily drive out of the gas station trying to avoid getting injured but leaving a trail off petrol behind them. Tybalt gets ready to aim at them while they leave, dropping his cigar in the process, this then lights the petrol making the whole gas station go up in flames. Benvolio then gets up and runs across the bonnets of cars across the highway to escape. This is where the scene ends.

One of the ways that Luhrmann

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