Baz Luhrmann has created a modernised version of Romeo and Juliet. He has also modernised the characters. For example, Shakespeare presents Juliet as being courageous and having to face many decisions. But Baz Luhrmann presents her with just the right amount of purity and innocence, but a need to rebel against her parents. For example she promises her mother to try her best to love Paris. This shows she is following her mother’s orders but she will not go out of her way to love Paris.
Baz Luhrmann has presented her this way because this film is being presented to a different audience than Shakespeare’s play would have. It is being presented to an audience in the 1990’s. Baz Luhrmann has changed the context so we can understand the language more. He has done this so he can reach the audience. Baz Luhrmann used the actress Claire Danes. She uses body language and experience to help present Juliet as being a teenage rebel. At the Capulet’s party Romeo and Juliet meet looking through a fish tank. Water is used throughout the film.
Baz Luhrmann does this because water is used to symbolize the beginning of their love. During this scene diegetic sound is used. (Des’ree -Kissing you) This song is associated with the love between Romeo and Juliet. In this scene Juliet wears an angel outfit and her hair is like a halo. This is all contributing to the effect of Juliet being innocent. She is wearing white which symbolises purity and innocence and it also reflects her mood of being very happy and falling in love. When they are in the lift the camera arcs around them which shows the focus is on them.
During this scene Romeo and Juliet create a sonnet together, this shows they fit together because it is as if they know eachother and what they are going to say. This scene shows how Juliet is becoming rebellious because she is hiding from her mother and the nurse, and she is running off with Romeo instead of being with Paris, as she promised. The first time we meet Juliet she is in a bath. The first time we meet Romeo he is on the beach. They are both associated with water. Juliet is obedient and respectful, and we first see this when Juliet calls her mother Madam.
Also when she is told about Paris she is respectful but indifferent. She is wearing a dressing gown as she just got out the bath and needs to get ready for the party and she is again wearing all white. Juliet’s relationship with her mother shows she has had a strict upcoming and this means she has never had the chance to rebel so she is innocent. After the party Romeo tries to find Juliet and they end up falling in the pool. The water in this scene symbolises Juliet’s hope for a life with Romeo and their union. It is as if they are being baptised in the purity of water.
There is no music until they start kissing, this is so you can focus on their words. When the music does start it is non-diegetic and quiet, and it is Des’ree-kissing you and this shows they are still in love, and they will be together. This scene shows she is rebellious as she plans to have a secret marriage which would be against her parent’s wishes as they wanted her to have an arranged marriage. We can see that Juliet has changed from modest and obedient to teenage rebel. Baz Luhrmann has done this because he wanted his film to appeal to the modern audience.