• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare & Contrast The Ways In Which, 'Baz Luhrmann' & 'Franco Zeffirelli' Present Scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo & Juliet.'

Extracts from this document...


Compare & Contrast The Ways In Which, 'Baz Luhrmann' & 'Franco Zeffirelli' Present Scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo & Juliet.' The first scene of the two film versions of Romeo and Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli is a very unusual and interesting interpretation of the 16th century play, written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare. Both Luhrmann and Zeffirelli capture the love and tragedy story in different ways. Baz Luhrmann very cleverly manages to weave the past into the present by setting the movie in Shakespearean language and yet giving the film a very modern twist. It is set in, the very heart of a modern American city that is quite threatening and urban. Here crime thrives in the city centre, violence rules the streets and becomes a part of daily life and where people are bred not to reveal their true feelings living a life of fear, chaos and full of illusions. However, Franco Zeffirelli directs the play exactly how Shakespeare wrote it, with no modern language or urban effects. It is even set in Fair Verona. Baz Luhrmann's characters are taken out of modern films, such as Leonardo Di Caprio, but Zeffirelli uses characters no one has heard of, since his film was made in the 1960's. Luhrmann's movie companied with music formulates a great recipe for a very compelling movie for all ages twelve and above. Zeffirelli's movie is more for the older generation. It is not compelling to the younger audience, since the first scene do not have all the modern effects. Baz Luhrmann's opening of the film is rather queer but effective for the cinematic audience. ...read more.


The music's beat is very fast and during the first minute or so the texture is very thin and not too complicated. Then gradually as the speed of the images shown increases so does the pitch of the music. This raise in pitch gives the audience a feel of terror and violence. At this point in the music there are only voices making the composition sound like a gospel choir. As the voices rise in pitch the music becomes elevated and so at the same time gives the audience a very gothic feel. These two very opposite sounds can give mixture of feeling and when shown with the swift images the gothic sound is more prominent. By the end of the opening in Luhrmann's film the audience is dropped back into their seats and allowed to take in what has just hit them. As soon as the opening ends, a few second later the Montagues and Capulets are introduced. Immediately a clear contrast between both 'gangs' is clearly shown; from the way they dress, to what they do, the colours associated with them and even the music. Zeffirelli demonstrates this differently to Luhrmann. This difference is crucial for the directors and audience. Since they are able to differentiate between the two rivals and films. In Baz Luhrmann's motion picture, the Montagues are very summery and bright wearing floral Hawaiian shirts and compared to the Capulets, come across as the good guys. The Capulets are very different and completely the opposite. They wear dark dull dark leather or denim clothes with studded boots. ...read more.


With his rather feminine facial features, the shadowy camera angles, slow music and romantic backdrop the whole scene is very dreamy, showing that Romeo is in a world of his own. After viewing both interpretations of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, I believe that Baz Luhrmann's first scene and opening are superior to Franco Zeffirelli's. This is because it is more appealing to the younger generation. On the other hand if a person wished to view the exact interpretation of the play, then I would recommend Zeffirelli's one. The way that Baz Luhrmann captures Shakespeare's language, is done very well, cause each character has his own accent. He also has made the play very modern and it is even set in an urban area. Luhrmann has changed every aspect to the book to modern day accurately, from the guns to the cars. However Zeffirelli only intended to interpretate the play exactly how Shakespeare wrote it. Both directors have been successful in achieving what they wanted. Luhrmann wanted the film to be very modern and if William Shakespeare were alive to this day, this is how he might have produced his own play in movie form. Baz Luhrmann was able to understand the messages conveyed by young Shakespeare, bought it into the present and successfully related it to many issues plaguing our society we live in today. Zeffirelli wished to carry out the play, word to word, as Shakespeare wrote it. In conclusion both directors has made their opening and first scene very well. They have made an impression right at the beginning of the film; this has made an impact on the audience making them watch the whole movie. ?? ?? ?? ?? Vimal Arumugam 10P English Coursework 07/05/2007 1of5 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Compare and contrast the two 'Romeo and Juliet' films,by Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann. ...

    He is also wearing very dark colours (black) and cowboy style black, polished, leather shoes with a metal backing to them as if it is to represent a sign of danger. He is also accompanied by music to suit is dark character.

  2. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    To start with, the general situation is rather like a family conflict. The feud between the Capulets and the Montagues had been passed down through the generations, until the youngest child had been planted with the seeds of hate. From the beginning of the play, it is learned that the

  1. How does Baz Luhrmann make the final death scene effective for the audience?

    Juliet now faces a barren existence, in a loveless family who drove her husband to death. After a moment of indecision, Juliet reaches for Romeo's gun and the camera slows down this action. As Juliet points the gun to her head, the ring is clearly visible as this shows that she is making the ultimate sacrifice for Romeo.

  2. How does Baz Luhrmann adapt the prologue and opening scene of Romeo and Juliet ...

    This is just comical and when you can actually watch his face and hers you have to laugh. These little acts of humour do make the scene effective as they break up the tension and then this allows it

  1. How does Baz Luhrmann make a successful interpretation of Romeo and Juliet for a ...

    The Capulets are completely different; wearing slick mainly black stylish trousers and waistcoats or similar black or red items. These two looks make it easy to identify the different families simplifying their personalities and the story in general. The slicked-back hair of the Capulets give them a Mafia look and

  2. How does Baz Luhrmann use film techniques to make Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" more ...

    He showed open prostitution, much dereliction, vandalism and graffiti all to captivate a younger audience into understanding that Romeo and Juliet is the story not it's setting and even maybe to show that Shakespeare hinted on these problems in society but could not possibly highlight them openly due to the moral principles of the time.

  1. How effectively do Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli interpret Act I Scene VI when ...

    Tybalt in Baz Luhrmann's version is dressed as a devil. The devil is often seen as evil and bad tempered and this shows Tybalt's personality. He wears dark clothes and watches everyone from a corner and only moves to tell Lord Capulet that he is annoyed that the Montague's are

  2. Analyse the way in which Baz Luhrmann uses Cinematic devices in the opening scenes ...

    Their cowardice and stupidity is shown next, when they decide to insult Abra by biting their thumb at him while he's not looking. After they do so, and Abra sees, the tension and anger start building up very quickly and dangerously.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work