Settings • The Beach • The Streets of Verona • The Caravan where Romeo Flees The Beach: A Description The beach in Verona is vast with white sand and is flat. It is surrounded by many palm trees, huts and beach shops. This beach is very busy and gives a Hawaiian feeling. There is a main road parallel to the beach which is always full of bikes and cars. There are always many boys and girls at the beach in their togs sitting on tables and chairs and under bright umbrellas. The crowd is usually young, the people are young adults in there 20s or teenagers. There is also small rides and the place has a landmark known to us as the stage where Mercutio dies. Although there is a casual atmosphere at the beach there is old architecture (the stage). I think this is to show the significance of Shakespeare coming into the modern version of the film. The Beach: Important Events • An important event which takes place at the beach is the death of Mercutio. We see this first by Mercutio‟s gun shooting skills. The Capulet arrive to fight Romeo, however he is not in favour of fighting so he withdraws. Romeo feels he does not want to injure or possibly kill a relative (he is now married to Juliet). This causes Mercutio to take his place as he feels that Romeo is staining the Montague family‟s honour. Although Mercutio is neutral (he belongs to neither family) it is evident that he favours his friends, the Montague‟s. During his fight with Tybalt there is much bloodshed and Mercutio dies on the stage at Verona Beach. • I think the beach is displayed as a symbol for Mercutio‟s home. This is because he is so popular there, he is seen as a king at the beach, he walks around as though is owns the place and of course the beach is where Mercutio dies. The Streets of Verona: Description The streets of Verona depict a busy, chaotic place. Verona is seen as a huge city with colossal buildings, long and many lane motorways full of ambulances, police cars and much traffic, billboards-advertising products. Verona is a big city which is flat as in not hilly and vast. There is old architecture and many of the buildings are run down and rusty. Verona is not very green, there are little trees, it is like a big cemented plain. In the center of the city there is a huge statue of Jesus between the large houses of Capulet and Montague. The Streets of Verona: Important Events • The most important event that takes place in the streets of Verona is Romeo‟s revenge. This takes place after Mercutio‟s death. Romeo is extremely angry at Tybalt for murdering Mercutio-as he is innocent and Romeo‟s dear friend. We see a completely new side of Romeo here. Romeo is full of fury-he is so angry that he seems to have lost his sanity. Before this scene we see Romeo as a lovable, charming, calm and reasonably relaxed person. However Romeo is full of hatred towards Tybalt now. Romeo chases Tybalt in his car, smashes Tybalt‟s car, forces him out and kills him without thinking twice. This is important because it leads to Romeo‟s banishment from the city which results in his death. • I think the streets of Verona are a symbol for confusion. They‟re like a labyrinth or maze that you‟re in and result in your confusion and it‟s almost as though they confund you. The Caravan where Romeo Flees: A Description The caravan where Romeo flees to is located in a vast, flat desert. The desert has dry grass and is very dusty, it appears to be full of brown colours. There are other caravans in the area, although, the place seems rather uninhabited. The setting is like an old Westerns‟ film setting. The sky is cloudy and the objects in the area are half broken. There are no landmarks visible. The area seems to be very remote. The caravan is large and scruffy, it hasn‟t been well kept. The other caravans are old, dingy and have clearly been well-used. The Caravan where Romeo Flees: Important Events • The significant event that happens here is the news Romeo‟s friend brings regarding Juliet‟s death. This place is a turning point in the film because this where things start to go wrong for the two lovers. Romeo doesn‟t receive his urgent notice and is told unintentional lies. Although this place is a contrast to the city-the weather (cloudy, overcast), the dryness and deserted feeling give us an impression of death, ill fate, tragedy- no hope. The surroundings almost foresee the bad news Romeo‟s friend brings which tears him and causes strife. • The place seems to be a symbol for confinement. Romeo is banished there, he receives little news, is emotionally and mentally deserted and the desert, dryness etc complete the feeling of total solitary confinement. Significance of Setting: Theme • The theme of the love between Romeo and Juliet is shown well by the exterior settings. The logo on the advertisement that would be “Coke” in our world, has been changed to “L‟amour” in Verona. “L‟amour” (French) translates to “love”. These advertisements can be seen on the beach, as well as the streets of Verona. • Red, a colour that symbolises love and passion is a recurring colour throughout the exterior scenes of Verona. This emphasises the theme of love between Romeo and Juliet. The colour of the “L‟amour” advertisements, the Nurse‟s outfit and the coloured lining around Romeo‟s caravan are all red. Even the sky when the beach is shown has a slightly pink hue. Significance of Setting: Theme • The theme of religion being an important part of life in Verona is shown well by the exterior scenes, especially of the streets of Verona. One of the first shots we see of Verona is of the statue of a religious figure. It is in the centre of the city, above everything else, which makes it seem like the people of Verona regard religion as a very special thing. • The religious statue also separates two sides of the city. On either side of it are two towers, one has the logo and name of „Capulet‟, and the other has „Montague‟. This also makes it seem like religion is the only thing that ties these two feuding households together. They are different in every way except their faith and beliefs. Significance of Setting: Theme • The setting of the desert that Romeo flees to helps us understand the theme of our choices creating our destiny. If Romeo had never decided to seek revenge upon Tybalt, he would never had been exiled and therefore would not be in the desert. • The desert becomes a symbol of loneliness and isolation. It is barely inhabited with few vehicles near Romeo, the grass is all dead and everything looks dirty and dull. It is almost as if Romeo deserves this for killing Tybalt, which links back to the idea of creating our destiny by our choices. Significance of Setting: Character • The exterior setting of the beach helps us understand the character of Romeo. The beach is shown as quite hazy, with pink clouds looming overheard. This makes it seem like Romeo is a bit of a romantic and is blinded by his love, especially as he comes to the beach after he has married Juliet. • The beach also has grass huts, that gives it a Hawaiian look, and it is filled with people and the many stalls all have bright colours. This contrasts the pale weather of the beach. But it also can show that Romeo can still be colourful and interesting, even though he has been blinded by his love. Significance of Setting: Character • The exterior setting of the beach shows us the character of Mercutio too. All the colour, on the yellow umbrellas, the dark blue sea, the pink tinged sky, the cars and the clothing of everyone on the beach reflects Mercutio‟s maniacal personality. • The haziness of the beach however, symbolises Mercutio‟s blindness for his friend. It is like the real clouds that are floating in the sky are clouding Mercutio‟s judgement and makes him impulsive. He fights Tybalt without thinking about the consequences, only of his friend Romeo. This results in him being killed by a pane of glass cutting his abdomen by Tybalt. The Beach Music: The music at the beach has a strong beat. It has a reasonable pace which reminds us of the youthfulness and violence of the character of Mercutio and members of Romeo‟s family. There is a change of music when Tybalt enters. It changes from fast paced to music of a more Western style. This reminds us of the conflict between the two families and show us that Tybalt is not welcome among the Montagues. This music stops at intervals during the scene, heightening the effect of dialogue and sound effects. The Beach Sound effects: There are many sound effects throughout the beach scenes. Gun shots are heard often. These alert us to the violence and conflict between the families and the high stature of the two families in the society of Verona. They can use guns and weapons, above the law. This shows us that they are feared and that they do not care what effect their feud is having on the rest of the community. The Streets of Verona Sound Effects: The sound effects in the streets of Verona are those which you would hear in a fast paced, modern city. This helps create an unrealistic, modern city in which the residents use Shakespearean language. The screeching sounds of car wheels and the roaring sounds of engines accelerating reminds us of the carelessness of the Capulet and Montague youth and their ignorance of the community. The crashing of cars and the breaking of glass before Tybalt dies shows us the rage and violence which Romeo displays. This shows how his love for Mercutio creates impulsion within him. The Streets of Verona Music: The music in the streets of Verona is very loud with a roaring and explosive effect. This reflects the Capulets and the Montagues. They are full of rage, violence, hatred for each other and impulsion. This shows us that although the two families are very similar in some ways, they still fight against each other. They make us feel as though they are trying constantly to win a competition which doesn‟t exist. The roaring and explosive music on the streets is a similarity both the houses share. The music is as though it‟s a metaphor for the two houses because it signifies restlessness and impulsion the Montague and Capulet youth are based around. The Caravan where Romeo Flees Dialogue: The dialogue in the scene where Romeo flees the city to the desert where the caravan is occurs mainly when Romeo‟s friend brings him new about his beloved Juliet‟s death. Romeo speaks, “What news hath thou brought?” Although the dialogue which expresses Romeo‟s true thoughts are the screams and yells which follow the realisation of Juliet‟s death. As Romeo understands and experiences the pain of losing Juliet he breaks down “Aaaah!” screaming in a harsh voice. Romeo‟s harsh, high pitched scream make us feel as though the news his friend has brought clearly has a big impact on him. It makes us feel as though Romeo‟s piercing scream is the result of the piercing he feeling in his heart. The Caravan where Romeo Flees Music: The music when Romeo flees to the desert where the caravan is has a strong western influence. We can tell this by the constant use of the guitar during the song. The music is slow, almost relaxing and gives a feeling of calmness and quiet as though the wind is brushing peace over the desert. I think this music suits the atmosphere very well. I think this because the desert is an ideal setting for western music. The music is a contrast to the heavy, roaring and explosive music in the city. The music in the desert tells us that Romeo is well and truly banished as the music reflects the quietness of the place. This music tells us that Romeo has been both physically and mentally detached from the city as it has an air of sleepiness. The Beach Lighting: In the beach the lighting is very bright almost as if it is glaring or disagreeing with what is going on at the beach and the fight that happens between the Montague and the Capulet. In the afternoon just before the fight the sky is tinged a light pink, sort of like a symbol that blood will be shed amongst the fighters and that someone is possibly going to die. Though the sky is tinged pink and still bright the water is a dull blue that lies still showing how calm the atmosphere is. But in the next scene it is anything but and the lighting dims down and the sky went dark with the lighting becoming a dark grey showing tragedy and despair which was an answer to Mercutio‟s request. The Beach Costume: At the beach the costume of both families, the Capulet and the Montague contrast with one another. The close-ups of the Montague on the beach show their casual clothing of bright coloured Hawaiian tops of blue green or open shirts or bare chests with gun holsters. Each of the Montague and Mercutio wear formal black pants and some wear silver necklaces . The Capulet dress in tight black outfits with Tybalt in tight black leather pants and the rest of the Capulet in complete black. The Capulet dark clothing contrast to the Montague slightly brighter clothing which also shows how each of the families are different in their way of fighting, the Montague are casual and slightly juvenile in their way of fighting as they cannot always aim but the Capulet have an elegant or sophisticated way of fighting making them seem more mature. The Montague casual attire is like their desire of fighting, they are not aggressive but do not step away from a challenge. The Montague dark clothing represent their aggressive way of fighting, as they are always the family that challenges the Montague to fight and seem to be ruthless as they do not have mercy. Streets of Verona Camera Work: In the streets of Verona there is a far wide shot of the city showing the darkness of the city, the dull grey coloured buildings and the very few bright green bushes. During the daytime it is well lit, yet there is also a gloomy light cast over it as if the city can not be lit up in complete light for something is stopping it. In this story the light is figuratively stopped by the fight raging between the Capulet and the Montague. The few green bushes represent the few people who are trying to stop the fight or are trying to bring peace to the city like the police Officer Prince. Streets of Verona Camera Work: In the very beginning there are many quick cut shots of the city in destruction and the gloomy aura that is produced, there are also newspaper clippings that show how the Montague and Capulet war has affected the city, this also reminds or tells us of the fact that fights have occurred in the city before and that there are many more fights to come. In the streets of Verona Luhrmann uses cut shots of the faces of Tybalt, Benvolio, and the rest of the Montague‟s and Capulet. This showed the facial expressions of each of the characters and how they were reacting to the fight that was about to occur between the Montague and the Capulet. The Caravan Where Romeo Flees Colour: In the setting where Romeo flees to there is not a wide variety of colour. It is all dusty and a dull brown. The caravans are a dull blue and dirty white showing the depressing mood of Romeo and the loneliness and isolation of where he is and how he feels. The colour also shows the inactivity and absence of violence in the desert in contrast to the commotion, and hostility and aggression in the city. In the desert there a few patches of dusty and dull green grass, like a symbol of Romeo‟s hope and freedom, falling to pieces and fading away. Also in the sky it is tinged pink again, giving the possible idea that someone will shed blood or die in the following scene. Caravan where Romeo flees Costume: In the caravan scene where Romeo flees him, Romeo is dressed in the same beach clothes as before yet this time his shirt is more dusty and the material slightly worn. This then shows how Romeo himself has changed, he was once bright and joyous and now he is slightly worn out and defeated but hopeful. Part of the reason for this could possibly be that Romeo is now without Juliet and missing her. When Romeo‟s friend Balthazar comes to tell him news of Juliet, he is dressed all in black as if foreshadowing the fact that he will soon be delivering bad news to Romeo (which he does) about Juliet.