Romeo and Juliet - Sample Essay
The film starts with a very dramatic title sequence. In our generation we enjoy engaging and dramatic films. The prologue opens the film and is repeated through out the opening scene. It begins with an extreme long shot of the T. V screen with a black news reader reporting on the brawl. This helps modernise it as in the Shakespearean era there was a lot of racism and discrimination between ethnic groups. Another obvious reason is the fact that televisions were not yet invented in the 17th century. The T. V is also situated in the middle of the screen and has a black background.
This causes you to focus only on the news as there is nothing else to side track you. Towards the end of the opening prologue there is a picture of a broken ring. I believe this is to show the hatred between the two gangs as a ring usually symbolises friendship. After the news bulletin there is a fast zoom in through the streets of Verona. The streets are very built up and crowded. This could show how the city has developed over the years and that if there was a big brawl it could cause a lot of destruction. There is then a classic and passionate soundtrack which start’s.
This may be included as they decided to keep certain factors of the film the same as the play and this type of music would have been very popular back then. It may also be used to show how passionate the script is. Lastly it may show how much hatred there is between the two gang’s as you can hate someone with a passion. After the fast zoom in, there is typography on a black background which reads IN FAIR VERONA with bold letters. I think this is so it sticks in your mind. It was also used in the opening line of the starting prologue.
I think this sentence may be used to show that it is usually a peaceful place. Through out the shot’s of Verona one what caught my attention was an image of two tall skyscrapers one which said Montague and the other Capulet. I think this is used to show the wealthy side of the two families. Furthermore there was a big statue of Jesus in between the two buildings. This shows they are both equally as religious. I also think the reason that the two buildings are so big is as they look over everybody and run the place. It may also show they are higher up then everybody else.
Through out the fast clips there are many images of modern technology for example cop cars, helicopters and guns. This is used to modernise it and entice the viewers. This might show how chaotic the city can become as they need all these devices to gain control over it. There is then a montage of shots showing many newspaper headlines about the civic brawl. They are repeating the prologue again as each headline repeats a line of it. There is then a gap between each clip showing different chaotic scenes to show the viewers how much destruction was caused.
This would also appeal to the modern day audience as we enjoy action within films now days. I believe teenage boys would be most interested as they enjoy violence in the media. The classical music cuts in again and there is then an introductory to all the characters showing a picture of them and the part they play. They all look very worried. There is then typography again which reads “A pair of star crossed lovers take there live” this is to get you thinking of what shall happen within the upcoming scenes of the film.
The music then increases speed and they begin to show you a montage of clips from within the film which also gains speed. This will entice the viewers and leave it at a cliff hanger so they want to know what will happen next. Between the montage of forth coming clips there are images of exploding fireworks. I believe this could be to add more chaos or to show the gangs anger could explode at any minute. This scene ends with a blank black screen reading “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”. This is to finally introduce the film. The music changes from classic to punk.
The three Montague boys are then introduced who also look like punks as they are dressed in brightly coloured t-shirts, bright hair, sunglass’s and chunky jewellery . They also have tattoos which read Montague and has there symbol. This may show there commitment to there gang. They are driving around in a bright yellow jeep with the roof down. They also seem very wealthy as they have a customised car and personalised number plate which read “Mon005”. They also pass a building which says Montague construction, this would also show there wealthy side as they own several business’s.
The music is diajetic as it seems to be coming from the car stereo this could show there general disrespect for the public. They all seem laid back as well as rebellious as they are shouting offence at other cars as they drive by. The last words of the music say “the boys, the boys”. I believe this soundtrack was picked as it refers to them as the boys, it may mean they run the place and are the bad boys of Verona. There is then a clip it of the location they are in, showing busy roads and streets. They then pull in to phoenix gas (a petrol station). They began to add petrol when the Capulet’s pulled up.
A van was situated between the two cars which blocked the view so neither of them could see each other. Four nuns then got into the van which both Capulet’s and Montague’s abused and insulted. This surprised me as they are both very religious. The nuns looked very disgusted and drove of causing both gangs to be in view of each other. The music changed to a western genre to show the more masterful and chilled side of the Capulet’s. They wore black formal suits, black boots ad had black neat hair. I believe they would appeal more to the modern day audience as they appear cool and powerful.
They were also equally as wealthy as the Montague as they had a modified car and personalised number plate which read “cap 005”. They also looked religious as they wore cross pendants, had a cross shaved into there hair and Tybalt had a picture of Jesus on his waist coat. The two sides meet eyes and the Montague’s seemed frightened and scared. Abra confronts the Montague boy’s opens his mouth and hiss’s at them causing them to jump back and fall over. He has metal bite guard which reads SIN. This makes him seem more powerful and scary as the Montague’s seemed petrified of them.
He then begins to make a mockery of the Montague’s as they were nervous and fearful of the Capulet’s. The Montague’s looked embarrassed. This would appeal to the modern day audience as there was humour involved. He began to turn round and head back to the car. He started up his engine and was about to drive off however he looked in his mirror and saw them biting there thumbs at him. This infuriated him causing him to honk his horn and rev his engine in spite as this was an insult in the Shakespearean era. I believe they decided to keep this the same as it works effectively.
The Montague’s then looked confused, intimidated and unaware of what to do. The Capulet’s get out of there car and begin to shout at the Montague’s. However there also seems to be humour attached again as he is also making a mockery of him at the same time. The Capulet’s still seem to keep calm however the Montague’s are shaking and seem troubled. There is then a camera shot at a member of public to show concern. Benvolio then comes out from the toilet and draws his gun. This has also been changed to modernise it as they would have used swords.
However the gun had sword written on it to help keep some aspects the same to the play. There is also a cross which hangs from his gun. This is to show he is religious and maybe he believes it would help him with in a battle as god would be with him. Then some mysterious music begins to start and Benvolio instructs him to “pull up thy sword” hence the name. They have also decided to keep some of the Shakespearean language the same. Tybalt the prince of cats then lights a cigar and drops the match on the floor which he puts out with the metal heel of his boot. The sound is over exaggerated and intense.
This is to show tension between the two sides as well as showing he has no respect for society. Benvolio then offers peace as this is the way Montague’s prefer to tackle battles. There is then extreme close-ups of the enemies to show there facial expressions as the Capulet’s look confident and calm however the Montague’s look worried and frightened. Tybalt then throws it back at him telling him he hates the word peace. This shows he is up for a battle. Tybalt has a lisp and sharp teeth like a cat. A child then came out of the door at the gas station and Tybalt spun round and pulled a gun out on him.
The kid was holding a toy gun. I believe the reason he ran out there is he thought it was a game. His mother then screamed to add chaos and Tybalt then pretends to shoot the kid. This show he is not totally heartless as he did not shoot him. He then spun round and pranced like a cat whilst making a hissing sound. The Montague boys then ran and charged at them adding chaos. He then hides by the Capulet car were a women kept hitting him round the head with her bag in order to try and help the Capulet’s. This was to add extra humour and entice the viewers. The western genre cuts in again.
Whilst in midair Tybalt shot Benvolio and the battle began. There were then quick shots of oil cans and the petrol pumps which are both highly explosive, therefore if a bullet went astray an explosion could occur. There was then an ominous of gun scenes a long side with shaky camera work as if it was live footage. Tybalt seemed skilled and masterful as if every move he made was like a dance. The Montague’s ran for the car and began to drive of causing the petrol hose to break off covering Benvolio in petrol. Tybalt then pulled out a gun with sight and shot at the fleeing car shooting one of them in the head.
This scene would have been found intriguing for teenagers and males mainly as they find gun fights and violence entertaining. Tybalt then dropped his cigar unaware the floor was covered in petrol. It then goes into slow motion to make the viewers on there feet as well as adding extra action. The petrol then ignites and Benvolio manages to run away. There was then a shot of a poster which read “Add more fuel to your fire” this was relevant as the fuel had gone up in flames. There was also another poster which this time was a newspaper advertisement which read “Montague vs.
Capulet’s” this was also slowly burning away. I believe this is to show the fiery between the two mobs. The fire goes out of control and then there is another montage of clips showing police helicopters, guns and newspaper headlines. One what caught my eye was this one “3rd civic brawl”. This shows it is quiet a regular occurrence. The father is in his limo and goes to grab his gun to help, due to family loyalty however is stopped by his wife. There is then another collection of clips showing riots, people being arrested and aerial shots of how many Capulet’s and Montague’s there were.
The scene ends with Tybalt and Benvolio head to head. These are the two leaders. There is some tragic music also to add tragedy to this catastrophic event. They are however both forced to drop the weapons by the police and are furthermore arrested. This may intrigue you because you know there shall be more conflict between these two sides with in the future scenes of the play. Overall I think this is a very affective opening sequence as there is action, humour and violence. These are found enticing by the modern day audience and effectively make you want to see the rest.