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Studying two film versions of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'.

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Introduction

We have been studying two film versions of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Baz Luhrmann directed the first film we watched. It was set in the 1990's and the second film version we watched was directed by Franco Zeffirelli this version was produced in the late 60's, but set in the 1600's. For this essay, I will be talking about the two films and comparing them to each other. I will also say which version I found the most interesting and explain why. One of the most interesting differences was the opening of the films. Baz Luhrmann's opening film was my favourite opening between the two versions. He made the newscaster say the words of the prologue by showing the newscaster on the television with the headlines of a newspaper on the top right corner of the screen. As soon as the newscaster finished the prologue, Baz Luhrmann made the images speed up with fast camera shots showing around the city of Verona and the music made the scene look more dramatic plus it made our attention be arrested to the film. ...read more.

Middle

I think the prologues are really helpful for the audience to understand and bring their attention to the film. After I heard the prologue, it did help me to understand the film story so I do think it's useful. Another part of the two films that we found interesting was the opening fight scene between the two families. In Baz Lurmann's film version, he introduced the Montague Boys wearing kind of Hawaii shirts and normal jeans basically they're dressing modern time clothes and they are in the petrol station to fill petrol into the car. Then we are also introduced to the Capulet Boys, their gang are enemies to the Montague boys. Both gang's carry guns as their weapons, which are called 9mm swords. The two gangs are religious we the audience know this because some of them wear necklaces with a cross and some of the members of the gang have picture of Jesus on their gun. During the fight scene, we see a woman beating Benvolio with her handbag, this is Baz Luhrmann own interpretation of the play we know this, because when Shakespeare wrote this play it wasn't written that Benvolio was being attack by a woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

Franco Zeffirelli made the actors clothes, weapons, houses and transport really original from the times when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. There are many interesting comparisons to be made throughout Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet. Another exciting moment of Luhrmann film was one of the concluding last scene of the film which was when Juliet was lying down in the grave yard and Romeo is beside Juliet hugging her with sadness in his face and getting ready to drink the poison. Baz Luhrmann made his tomb scene look like we were involved and getting the audience on the edge of their seats, by making Juliet starting to stir her fingers very slowly and Romeo not realising it and Luhrmann made Juliet open her eyes soon as Romeo drank the poison. This scene made the film look even more of a tragedy, while Zeffirelli's was more original to Shakespeare's play. At the end of watching the two films version I've decided that Baz Luhrmann film was my favourite, because it showed me a good interpretation and it was easier for me to understand the scenes. ...read more.

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