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Compare the Openings of Two Film Versions of 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Nicola Day 10G/10A Compare the Openings of Two Film Versions of 'Romeo and Juliet' Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tragic love story set in Verona, Italy. It is thought to be his most famous featuring well known lines such as 'Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?' As well as being a Shakespearian play, 'Romeo and Juliet' has later influenced directors to create films about this emotional romance. Earlier directors that have created films based on 'Romeo and Juliet' such as Franco Zeffirelli and his 1968 version have made their films very traditional, following exactly what Shakespeare described and wrote about in his play. Modern directors such as Baz Luhrmann and his 1997 version have created more contemporary versions of the script and setting to influence young teenagers to enjoy Shakespeare. Although the settings in both versions of the story are very different, both directors have chosen suitable sets for what is contained in the prologue of 'Romeo and Juliet'. ...read more.


Baz Lurmann's version contains high quality effects but Franco Zefferilli's version does not. This is because there would have been more film technology invented in 1997 when Luhrmann's version was made than in 1968 when Zefferilli's version was made. The music in the 1968 version is traditional and fits in with the Shakespearian story as well as the time when the film was made. The 1997 version is silent at first but slowly builds into very exiting dramatic music. Similar to the camerawork, Zefferilli's version's music would make viewers very calm whereas the music in Luhrmann's would make viewers fell exited and intrigued to see the rest of the film. The lighting in both versions of the beginning of 'Romeo and Juliet' are quite similar because they both display darkness while the prologue is being read and light appears just as the film starts. In the 1968 film, there is an orange glow, which suddenly becomes lighter as the story begins. ...read more.


The lines used in this way are; 'From ancient grudge, break to new mutiny' and 'where civil blood makes civil hands unclean'. Soon after the prologue has been read, the names and first names of the characters appear on the screen next to the particular character's face. Shakespeare did not invent these first names of characters so they have been made-up to modernise the film and to prevent younger viewers from becoming confused. The two uses of text differ greatly because the Luhrmann uses text very dramatically and effectively whereas Zefferilli's version only uses text to show the name of the story, the writer and the director's name. I felt that both versions were extremely informative towards the storyline although I preferred the 1997 version greatly. I preferred Luhrmann's version because I found t very exiting and it left me wanting to watch the entire film. Although I found the 1968 version very informative, the uses of the camera and ways of displaying the film were not very effective and the 1997 version was a lot clearer on what it was trying to display. ...read more.

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