In this piece of coursework I will analyse four shots from the opening sequence. I will analyse the film techniques in Romeo and Juliet such as the mise-en-scene, the casting and costume, camera angles, lighting, captions, music and other techniques that have been used in order to make this film successful. In the opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet it doesn’t really focus on their love but mostly the feud between the two families and how they are caught between; the opening sequence also makes Romeo and Juliet look really innocent and naive.
The genre of Romeo and Juliet is tragic and dramatic; this reflects on the film as there are both tragic and dramatic scenes that take. The mood of the film is really sad and upsetting due to Romeo and Juliet not being able to be together however there is also a lot of fighting in the film which makes it full of action; this may attract a younger audience towards the film. Shot 1 There is a woman newsreader on a television. It starts off with a long shot of the television then it zooms in on to the TV very slowly.
First there is clicking sounds as if there is someone there changing the channel; this make the audience feel they have control of the TV as it stops on the channel which is about Romeo and Juliet, this makes the audience also more involved. Everything in the shots is black except the TV; this makes it stand out more. The woman is dressed smartly but is wearing a red suit, the colour red links back to the story line as it is the colour of blood and also the colour which is usually associated with love.
Behind her there is a broken ring with a caption that says ‘STAR-CROSSED LOVERS’ without reading the caption the audience automatically realise that the film is going to be about two lovers that can’t be together due to the state of the ring. The caption is also from the prologue which again links back to the original story. The serious facial expression on the newsreader’s face suggests that what she is talking about must be serious too.
The newsreader is a black woman, however at the time Romeo and Juliet was written black people were considered less important, and by making a black woman the newsreader makes her seem important and also shows how modern this version is compare to the old one. Shot 2 There is a statue of Jesus standing with his hands out. This enormous statue of Jesus stands between the Montague and Capulet mansions. Due to the statue standing in the middle of the two mansions this may imply that Jesus wants the feud to end or maybe trying to say that the people of Verona shouldn’t be focusing on the feud but rather on him and the religion of Christianity.
Before this shot there is a lot of dramatic music but it totally stops on the statue of Jesus; this gives it a great effect and it makes the audience think about what Jesus has got to do with the film. There is also a serious look on the statue of Jesus, this maybe because of the feud that is going on. Also the way his hands are out makes them look like weighing scales with the two families on either side.
The city looks bright and it also looks really hot and stuffy there is also a lot of traffic which makes it look like the city is really irritated as there is lots of torn apart buildings, which reflect on the feud. Shot 3 There is a sequence of split-second shots. This involves a speeding police car’s wheels, which may make the audience assume something serious has happened, so serious that it involves a speeding police car. It also shows a helicopter as if it is looking for someone, this may imply that a crime has just been committed.
There are also many short shots of the two family’s mansions to show that all this disruption is due to them and shots of different statues of Jesus looking confused as to what is happening. These shots are all dramatic and the music is also very dramatic making the shot seem exciting and interesting. In this shot there are also many birds-eye view camera angles so that the audience can see everything more clearly too. Shot 4 The newspaper article, which again has a statue of Jesus in the centre of it with the two mansions on either side of it.
However this time it shows the members of the two families. The pictures of the parents look like they are very arrogant and selfish people, although the pictures of the Romeo and Juliet look the total opposite. Instead of having pictures of when Romeo and Juliet were older there are pictures of when they were children. This makes a big difference as it makes them look really innocent and naive, they are also smiling as if they don’t know what is going on and as if they don’t know that there is a feud between their two families.
The dramatic music quietens down and a man with a really deep voice starts to talk, this is the priest and he sounds upset and emotional about what he is talking about. Then suddenly flames of fire eats up the newspaper, this is really dramatic and looks like there is something really bad that is going to happen as the flames start at the bottom where Romeo and Juliet’s pictures were; it also suggests that some bad is going to happen to them. By watching the opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet it make me feel sorry for them. This is because of the way Luhrman has represented them.
It makes me want to carry on watching it because the way Luhrman has set everything out he doesn’t give out to much information on the story line but just enough to make me want to know the rest. One of the techniques that I particularly liked was the fire eating up the newspaper. I thought this was very dramatic and made me want to watch the film even more as I wanted to know what was going to happen because I knew something tragic was going to happen. I enjoyed the opening and it made me want to continue watching it to find out the ending of the film.