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Comparison of Romeo and Juliet Oppening Scene

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Compare and contrast the ways in which Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli present Scene 1 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli portrayed the film 'Romeo and Juliet' in very different ways. Most of the scenes in the film are portrayed in different ways although there are some similarities. There are some very obvious differences including the intended audience, the setting, the place and the timing of the play. There are some smaller differences as well such as the use of music, camera angles, lighting, the way different people are introduced and many more. I think that in Luhrmann's version of the film the intended audience is a much younger audience, from teenagers to people in their mid 20's. I believe this because his version has much more action in it and is more modern which is more appealing to the younger generations than to the older generations. The audience intended for Zeffirelli's version, however, is most likely the older generation than the younger generations as it is quite slow moving and focuses only on the essentials of the story than to make the audience interested with the lack of action. The fact that the film was made in the 1960's makes it even more appealing to the older generations as it was made when they were young and so it is familiar as well as the fact that it is set in the times of when it was written. The settings in the two versions show the most difference and in Luhrmann's version it is more modern and so reflects life as we know it today. ...read more.


It is this introduction to the two families starting a fight that shows the problems already between them which will continue during the rest of the film. This is done very well with all the different types of music that are played and the way the camera moves quickly between showing each person and their reaction to the situation. The way that the camera zooms in on particular parts of people such as people's faces and feet is also a good technique as it gets a certain effect about the person which the director is trying to achieve. In the older film the director goes straight to the Montagues who are causing trouble but not in as much detail as the other film. In this version the Montagues also see the Capulets, which is seen from their point of view from afar showing an interesting use of the camera angle, and actually go to them looking for a fight. The Montagues are much braver in this version compared to Luhrmann's version where they were cowards in the other film and the Capulets aren't as sinister as in Luhrmann's due to the fact they are walking around with an old man which adds a gentleness to them. Zeffirelli doesn't really want music in this part of the film with just the use of background noise, which makes it easier for us to hear what is going on and what is being said in the film. It also allows us to pay more attention to their facial expressions rather than assume what they are like from the music being played. ...read more.


In Luhrmann's version we see him on the beach before a sunrise and in Zeffirelli's version we see him walking under a bridge and the soft music and the way the camera introduces him from afar creates a similar effect in both. The camera switches from far away to close up and so on until he reaches Benvolio and they then talk. The music has finally stopped at this point but soon starts again and gets louder as Romeo finds out about the fight increasing the drama. Interestingly, Romeo's introduction is the only part in the first scene where both directors have shown something the same. In my opinion, I think that both films have been successful in their own way but overall from my point of view and perhaps as a younger audience, I preferred Luhrmann's version. Zeffirelli has made a good version of the play with the way it is directed but I feel he was focusing more on telling the story of Romeo and Juliet rather than trying to get the audience interested into actually watching it and showing the range of emotions as to me it seemed quite dull and lifeless. Luhrmann's version attempted to make it exciting to the audience while still telling the story in a more interesting way. As I said earlier, Luhrmann's film is meant for the younger generations because of the action in it which would interest them, and Zeffirelli's version is meant for the older generations because of the way he has just focused on the story itself without adding action. Overall, both are very good and are alike in some ways but very different in other ways, so the favourite would depend on your personal taste. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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