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Act 3 scene 5 "Romeo and Juliet". Compare and contrast two film versions of this scene, saying which you prefer. Consider how effectively Shakespeare's play has been interpreted.

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Act 3 scene 5 "Romeo and Juliet". Compare and contrast two film versions of this scene, saying which you prefer. Consider how effectively Shakespeare's play has been interpreted. The two versions I have studied are Franco Zeffirelli's paramount film and Alvin Rakoff's BBC version. Both films were produced in the 1960s. The BBC film is aimed at students studying the play but Zeffirelli's version is aimed at a much wider cinema audience. I think that it is the much larger budget and involvement of a world famous director that makes the paramount film much more successful. Zeffirelli's version is well acted and the performance of Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting make the film seem more realistic. The scene opens at dawn and the two lovers are in bed. The camera gives a close up of their faces, which is very effective, because it emphasizes how young they are and how peaceful and contented they seem to be together. There is a warm atmosphere in the room I think this is because there is pink filter on the camera lens, which also makes it look very romantic. ...read more.


Her expression, mannerisms and tone of voice match her words: "Some grief shows much of love But much of grief shows still some want of wit". Lady Capulet does not comfort Juliet or seem like the motherly type, which I think, is an interpretation of Shakespeare's character. Some people might say that Olivia Hussey over acts when she is told about her arranged marriage, but I do not agree. I think it just shows how upset she is about Romeo being banished to Mantua, how much in love she is and the shock because she had not been expecting this news at all. When Lady Capulet goes to her husband one thing I noticed was the similarity of costume, which is obviously a deliberate decision. He is dressed in black also wearing a chain that looks very heavy around his neck. When Lady Capulet tells him that Juliet does not want to marry Paris he gets very angry. As he is marching up the stairs to Juliet's room, it allows his anger time to build up as his voice raise and starts to echo. He finally bursts through Juliet's bedroom door, and his rage looks very believable, when Capulet throws Juliet to the ground, the nurse is ...read more.


Capulet is wearing similar style of costume to Lady Capulet's and I think this seems to set them apart from Juliet as if to show that they do not have a close relationship with her. During Capulet's angry outburst, it does not come across that the nurse and Juliet are as close as they should be. The nurse just stands passively whereas in the paramount film she tries to protect her. Perhaps the director wants to emphasize Capulet's power and show the nurse to be afraid of him but I do not think this works well. Overall Zeffirelli's film in my opinion is far superior. It is acted better and is more realistic. The speech is slower and with quite a lot of the original script cut it would be easy even for someone who is not familiar with the play to understand it. The costumes are of a better design compared to the BBC's costumes. Zeffirelli's film is an Academy award winner for best cinematography and best costume design. I think the BBC's film is also quite good but less talented actors and the speech is spoken very quickly to get all the lines in, which is not as effective. The BBC film would be good to help students understand the play but the paramount film would appeal to a wider audience. Mandy Armstrong ...read more.

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