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Romeo and Juliet Media Assignment.

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Romeo and Juliet Media Assignment For this assignment I shall be comparing two film versions of 'Romeo and Juliet'. The first one was directed by Franco Zefferelli in1968 and the most recent version in 1997 by baz Luhrmann. I will be comparing the opening scene (including the prologue) up to the end of the first fight between the two families. Before the directors even started filming they had to have a concept in mind, an idea, a piece of art that they would ultimately like as all directors would, to be recognised for his talent as well as the goal of making money to further their careers. To be able to tell a popular story such as the play 'Romeo and Juliet' that has a universal theme which has defied time and language barriers as well as the original has done. They both used the basic structure of the play written by Shakespeare but took it in to entirely different directions. Before both films could begin shooting they needed somewhere that would give the right impression to set the scene to keep the audience watching. There were in comparison things they both used such as the younger generations were the ones causing the trouble and making the noise this helps to show that they were using the family's feud as a way to show they were a stronger individuals as well as a stronger family in all cases, business or otherwise. On the other hand the oldest generations were given the impression that they were kept in to the back ground or out of the way when the families fought. The atmosphere was also different throughout the film as Zefferelli's was calm and collective but not always peaceful but Luhrmann's version in the way the characters were perceived were that they seemed on edge. As well as later on the Capulets seem to be looking for trouble but the Montague's were relaxed and just wanted to have fun. ...read more.


This is followed by Pete Postlethwaite (who acts the part out of Friar Lawrence) reading the prologue this is now another way not just seeing it but hearing it repeated over so the audience remembers it. Then the picture of the road where the statue is down the very centre showing to the audience that their faiths and beliefs are nearly the same but the road down the centre with the 'CAPULET' sign on one side and the 'MONTAGUE' on the other showing the divide between not just the families but the business' that they own. Next between the destruction shown are front pages of newspapers with headlines such as 'Ancient Grudge', 'New Mutiny' and 'Civil Blood Makes Civil Hands Unclean' these are sections taken from the prologue and are emphasized to show they are important. As well as magazine covers with part head lines such as 'They Bleed' possibly referring to civil blood that is metaphorically being spilt. As well as 'Shoot forth thunder' showing another type of gun as well as the name thunder the destruction it could cause like the gun to people. Next each of the main characters are shown, their faces are zoomed in towards then a still shot is shown for a few seconds. This gives a style like element from the film 'Reservoir Dogs'. In this time their names are shown and who they are in relation to either Romeo or Juliet. Baz Luhrman has done this so that the audience know who the characters are. All though he has also give them a first name which in Zefferelli's he doesn't , for example 'Dave Paris' who Juliet's father wants her to later marry not because he is just a rich family but is higher in modern society as well as he is the governors son. Then again the prologue is one last time shown on the screen in words in half lines but too fast too see them all so the audience has to concentrate better to see more so later in the film they are more likely to be watching closer. ...read more.


The next use of camera work to show tension of the characters faces are when in close up to Tybalt's eyes then cuts straight to Benvolio's. In conclusion to what I have wrote I still preferred Baz Luhrmann's version of 'Romeo and Juliet', this is because the film brought to my attention that although Shakespeare wrote this play the interpretation from this particular director brought it up to date and gave a new perspective on a play that has been repeated by numerous other directors. It made the play more interesting, understandable and easier to follow. The clich´┐Ż of it being a tragedy but for some reason we still have to laugh at the unusual way that he has portrayed an old classic. The way Luhrmann has added small touches that explain what characters are saying just by looking at what is happening. I think that this also type casts me into the audience that he needed to watch it to make it such a success showing it really has worked. As well as actually having a favourite character because of the actor who plays him Harold Perrineau. The character Mercucio was livened up in the play with his vivacious camp type attitude but he still did the death scene with great emotion. This means that the actors can also change how things are seen and Luhrmann chose as I see it the right one. I feel that the other version in my eyes lacked the excitement that was needed to keep my interest. The characters besides Romeo and Juliet didn't really have anything that truly separated them from each other as individuals and was lost in the fight scene to a blur of yellow, red and blue. The scenes were tedious and were dragged out far too long. The only thing I thought seemed well put together was the attention to detail on the costumes. Overall though the replication of Shakespeare's play was very good and believe that people that went to see it would have liked it. ...read more.

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