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

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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.

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