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Comparing The Openings Of Two Different Film Versions Of Romeo And Juliet

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Comparing The Openings Of Two Different Film Versions Of Romeo And Juliet In this essay I will be comparing openings of two different film versions of Romeo and Juliet. Franco Zeffirelli directed the first version, which was released in 1968 that stars Leonardo Whitney as Romeo and Olivia Hussey as Juliet. Baz Lurhmann directed the second version, which was released in 1996 that stars Leonardo Dicaprio as Romeo and Claire Danes as Juliet. In both the films the director has a prologue before the first scene, when Shakespeare wrote this play there would have been a narrator come on stage and speak out the prologue. The original play was set in Verona Italy, which is where Franco Zeffirelli set his version, but Baz Lurhmann tried to keep it modern and he decided to set it in Verona Beach, U.S.A. By doing this he keeps it modern and keeps the line in the prologue "In fair Verona". Also in both of the versions the directors keep to the original text. At the beginning of the Franco Zeffirelli version, the prologue starts off on a little Italian village which the camera pans across the village and onto a sunrise very slowly, there is a deep male voice over that speaks in received pronunciation as he says the prologue and there is a slow and romantic sound track. ...read more.


When it comes to the part with Tybalt it starts off with his feet and works its way up his body to his face, this is to build up suspense. The Baz Lurhmann version of the first scene takes place in a petrol station, which like a market is a very public place. But the beginning starts of with the Montagues in their laughing and joking around in their car they all have very different hair styles one has a spiky pink punk like hair style and they are all wearing modern clothes like Hawaiian shirts, this how Baz Lurhmann has modernized their appearances. The Capulet are the more serious family. They don't joke around at all. They are also a Latino family. As the first scene starts you hear American culture style music, which repeats "the boys, the boys" this also gives them a fun look about them, as they pull up into the petrol station it zoom in on the capulets feet who are also at the petrol station at the same time, the capulets are totally different they are a Latino family and they have a spaghetti western type of soundtrack instead of the American culture music like the Montague family. ...read more.


This is to show you important parts that build up suspense. Also he makes certain sounds louder like the grinding of the match on to the floor and the squeaking of the sign to show the silence but the squeaky sign has another reason and that is to add to the western theme with the Capulet family. In the Franco Zeffirelli version almost all the characters in the first scene are male this keeps it a traditional, as women were not men to act or really do any thing in Shakespeare's time and all are white which is how it was in those days. In the Baz Lurhmann version it is totally up to date there are women in the first scene and the first version of the prologue is read by a black woman so Baz Lurhmann keeps it modern and gets women more involved in the film and get coloured people in it as we all live in a multicultural society with equal opportunities. Out of these two films I personally preferred the Baz Lurhmann version it is aimed at a younger audience. It is also set in a modern city and has been modernised I also like the way in which he done the prologues, over all I think that the Baz Lurhmann version is better. ...read more.

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