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Compare the way Zefferelli and Luhrman present the oping scene of Romeo and Juliet to the Audience

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COMPARE THE WAY ZEFFERELLI AND LUHRMAN PRESENT THE OPENING SCENE OF "ROMEO AND JULIET" TO THE AUDIENCE In this essay I intend to compare each opening scene in both movies by focusing on the similarities and differences. The Zeferelli version of "Romeo and Juliet" was made in the 1960s and is set in Verona. It has the more traditional approach to a Shakespearean text. The film is aimed at existing admirers of Shakespeare's work, basically an older target audience. The actors in the film are white and have English accents. It is obvious that the film was set in Elizabethan times because of the costumes and the surroundings. On the other hand Baz Luhrman's version of Romeo and Juliet is aimed at a younger audience. The film is played out so young people can identify with it. An example of this is the way it deals with relationship problems like those of Romeo and Juliet who are trying to persuade their rival families to try and accept their relationship. The style of the film is slick and flashy, set in a modern day "California". ...read more.


We see various different modern images; helicopters, police chases, distressed and angry faces, newspaper articles reporting on fights, skyscrapers with the names of "Capulet" and "Montague". The prologue is then read again, this time by an American man. He speaks the prologue loudly while words flash up on the screen in big, white letters as he says them. The next scene shows a group of boys in a car, shouting. In a similar style to Zeferelli, Luhrman uses certain types of clothes, music and colour to represent the different qualities of the characters. The Montague boys have body piercing and tattoos, brightly coloured modern clothes and are listening to heavy metal music, all of which were fashionable in the late 1990s when the Luhrman version was made. We may think of the Montagues as jokers because of their bright clothes, yellow, green and pink coloured. In the Zeferelli version we see a very crowded and noisy market place. The camera focuses on two rowdy men who are again dressed in bright colours, yellow and red. As the two men are laughing and making jokes about women from a rival family, the Capulets, it is clear that these men are members of the Montague family. ...read more.


The camera makes him out to be strong and powerful, showing low shots of him so that he seems tall and courageous to the audience and therefore indicating his authority and power. In the Luhrman version the fight takes place at a gas station instead of the market places of Zeferelli's. Tybalt leads the Capulets. He comes across as fearless and powerful. When the camera shows his boots we associate them with cowboy boots from a western movie. Then this idea is confirmed by Western music playing in the background. The camera moves into a close- up shot of his face. The Capulets seem the most dangerous of the families; they have slicked back hair, wear leather and carry guns. There are various similarities and differences between the two directors versions. Zeferelli stays much closer to Shakespeare's classical style using the dusty streets of Verona for the set. On the other hand Luhrman's is a modern version in which he uses images and music from modern pop culture. Both films are similar in the way that they convey the characters' personalities in the same way as the original play. Emmet Murphy GCSE ENGLISH 2002 ...read more.

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