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Compare the suicide scenes from two different film versions of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Introduction

Compare the suicide scenes from two different film versions of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' I will compare the suicide scenes from the two different film versions of Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet'. It is a media assignment so I have to describe how the camera shots manipulate you into understanding the feelings of the characters. Franco Zeffirelli's version released in 1968, was set in Verona Italy in the fifteenth century. Baz Luherman's version released in 1997 was set in Verona beach USA in the twentieth century. Both directors have used Shakespearean language but have edited and changed some of the original text. The starts of the scenes in the two films are very different to each other. In the Zeffirelli's, it's very gloomy and quiet, whereas in the Luherman's version it's very loud and exhilarating. This is probably because a contemporary audience is used to this kind of thing. In Zeffirelli's version, the scene is opened as Romeo makes his way to the vault in darkness, with a lit torch. He breaks into the vault with a stone. Sombre, classical music fills the air as he enters the vault; back lighting is used to create shadows, and under lighting comes from below to create suspense. The atmosphere is very dismal, dark and depressing. This is because Romeo is surrounded by cobwebs and rotting bodies of Juliet's ancestors, setting the mood of uneasiness. This creates grimness and horror. On the other hand in the Luherman's version, the start of the scene involves cars, search lights and helicopters whilst Romeo is on the run from a desperate police chase. ...read more.

Middle

When he dramatically died a single teardrop rolled down his cheek he then collapsed to the floor in a heap by the side of her stone slab. The theme tune starts again in a slower softer tone as Juliet awakens. Sweet music is heard to represent her optimism that she will wake up and all will be well as Romeo will be there to greet her. The camera zooms in and focuses on her hand first as her fingers begin to show life and movement. The priest, who married them in secret friar Lawrence, enters the vault after speaking with Balthazar Romeos servant he realises something has gone wrong. He hurries to Juliet's side in an attempt to persuade her to leave the vault before she can see Romeos body. Juliet sees Romeo, the friar's lantern up-lights Juliet's face creating suspense and emphasising the horror of her expression. They heard the approaching the night watchmen, the friar panicked because he knew what she was going to do so he left the vault in fear. The friar was frightened and he felt he was responsible. The Luherman's version is very different. Friar Lawrence, Balthazar and Tybalt are excluded from the scene; it is just the two lovers alone. Also the Juliet in the Zeffirelli's version is only thirteen-fourteen years old. In the contemporary version she is sixteen-seventeen years old. When Romeo lies beside Juliet and comments on her beauty, we see it from a Birdseye view so we look down upon the two. ...read more.

Conclusion

And then comes back in and to a Birdseye view of the two lovers dead together at last side by side. Almost as if Juliet's spirit is looking down. Music from the opera begins "Triston and Isolde" by Wagner-a song called "Milde and Leise". The story line of an opera is similar to that of Romeo and Juliet. We then are shown flashbacks of all the happy times they had together. The party when they first met, their wedding night, Juliet's wedding ring engraved "I love thee". This again creates an emotional response of sadness, it is a tragedy. A final scene of them kissing in the swimming pool, the music softens and slows down. In conclusion Luherman's version of the suicide was very unique and overall brilliantly directed; it must have had a bigger budget. It was exaggerated and dramatized and very different from the original ideas. The zeffirelli version is truer to the text and more realistic. There is a lot of dramatic irony in both film versions, because the audience knows that Juliet is about to awaken but Romeo doesn't know. Romeo believes Juliet to be dead and commits suicide. The Juliet in the contemporary version more upset than the one in the Zeffirelli version. The Zeffirelli one shows more emotion and the contemporary shows more passion. The Zeffirelli one does not move you as much as the Luherman's one. The Luherman's version is exaggerated to create more emotion. In both films it does not show you any graphics because the love story is the important bit. The tragedy is the love story. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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