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Compare two film versions of Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

At the beginning of both versions, the audience hear the prologue in which they are told about the star-crossed lovers and the long old feud between both families. In Baz Lhurmann's version we hear the prologue, which is read by a newsreader in a small television frame in which the camera is zooming into. Whereas in Franco Zeffirelli's version the audience only hear the prologue and see a misty and cloudy sky of Verona, which tells the audience that there is trouble brewing. Then in Baz Lhurmann's version the audience see over 40 quick clips of the play, in the form of a roller coaster. This symbolises adrenaline in your body and how quickly the tragedy occurs, after this happens Lhurmann chooses to have freeze frames on each character of the play. When he shows the audience Lord Capulet, he shows police sirens on his face that tell the audience that he is involved in a lot of violence. Both directors show the difference both families. In Baz Lhurmann's version the Montague boys and Capulet boys have different symbols to show the different gangs in Verona. Whereas in Zeffirelli's version both families are represented by the colour clothes that they wear. In Lhurmann's version the first time the audience see Tybalt; it is in a petrol station as soon as he comes out of his car there is silence and he lights a cigarette. This shows that he has power. As he comes out of his car, the audience get a close up of his eyes. The audience also see the waistcoat that he wears, it has Jesus all over it to show that he doesn't care about religion, and he smiles and so the audience get a view of his braces. ...read more.

Middle

As soon as he reaches Juliet's tomb the music finally stops. He then slowly gets a ring out from his pocket and places it on Juliet's ring finger. He puts a ring on her finger as it is round so it symbolises that they can be together forever without any obstacles in their way. The first time the audience see Juliet she is dressed in a white dress with white flowers. The audience see Juliet holding a flower in her hand to show that she is 'innocent as a bud'. This shows that she is innocent and pure and is symbolic as it shows that she is ready to marry Romeo. Whereas in Zeffirelli's version the final scene also takes place in a church but the audience also see the dead body of Tybalt who is next to Juliet. Zeffirelli has chosen that the final moment between Romeo and Juliet cannot be between them but he wants to show how close love and hate is. Whereas in contrast to Lhurmann's version he has chosen that the final scene between Romeo and Juliet has to be between them and so no one can interrupt their final moment together and to get this effect the audience get a lot of close up of the faces of Romeo and Juliet to show its only between them. In Lhurmann's version Romeo whispers words in Juliet's ear which is a contrasted with the opening scene when the words are shouted this shows that he is only talking to her and not the to rest of Verona. While this is happening the audience get a high angle shot so it's like the audience are peeping on their intimate scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the play Lhurmann's has edited many scenes to make them blend together and so the scene flows together. Both directors have concentrated on different things to get the point across. Zeffirelli has concentrated more on Shakespeare's language whereas Lhurmann has concentrated more on the love between Romeo and Juliet. Although Zeffirelli has concentrated on Shakespeare's language h has decided to cut out the part when Romeo speaks in oxymorons but to show his heaviness Romeo just lies down on his own. Lhurmann has decided to show Jesus looming over all the action, as throughout the play the audience get constant flicks of the statue of Jesus. Its like he is looking down on all the violence but can't do anything about it. He has chosen that the film slots into any time period, as it is timeless. So people in any era will understand the dialogue. Whereas Zeffirelli has concentrated on Shakespeare's language so only people from that era will understand it, as Shakespeare's language is quiet hard to understand. The characters that both directors chose caused some controversy. Lhurmann chose Leonardo Di Caprio to star as Romeo as he thought that he looks like a young, innocent boy, and Juliet as Clair Danes. He chose her as she was an unknown star, and so Lhurmann wanted the public to only know her as Juliet and not Clair. But Zeffirelli chose both actors who were unknown. This is what caused the controversy. As the people of those times didn't know whom the actors were. Romeo was casted by Leonard Whiting and Juliet casted by Olivia Hussey. Although he used unknown characters the film received 4 academy nominations and made over $48 million dollars at the box office. AMIT LAD 10/4 MISS WELSH ...read more.

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