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Comparison of the two films of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Media Assignment Comparison of the two films of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet' was made into a film by two different directors. Baz Luhrmann's to Franco Zeffirelli's interpretation of Romeo and Juliet were very distinct and they both appeal to different age group audiences. Franco Zeffirelli's version was the first film of Romeo and Juliet. It was produced in 1968 and it was quiet typical, exactly what the audience would have expected the film of 'Romeo and Juliet' to be. Unlike Baz Luhrmann's version, which was very modern and appealed to a younger audience. Baz Luhrmann's and Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet are perfect examples of the very different perspectives you can have of the stunning play. The masked ball scene is one of the most challenging scenes to recreate. Because Shakespeare doesn't tell us what the characters wear, what the Capulet mansion looks like and what the face expressions are like when the lovers first set eyes on each other, it offers great flexibility. ...read more.

Middle

The start of the party was similar in both films. Even though Franco Zeffirelli's version of the scene started noisily, Baz Luhrmann's was noisier. Another similarity were the camera angle shots. Both directors used a variety of camera shots, especially close up. Luhrmann's production, the close ups were helping build tension by showing both families feelings and facial expressions. Throughout the masked ball scene, there are a number of close ups on key characters. For example, when Tybalt recognises Romeo at the party and when Romeo and Juliet first set eyes on each other across the fish tank. Franco also uses close ups at these points of the scene. The setting of the two films are also very contrasting. Zeffirelli's production was set in Tuscany and Umbria because they were very authentic cities, which were a lot like the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, would have been. However, the Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet was set in Mexico, Miami beach. This was to exaggerate the chic, modern look. The setting choice is also another example of the distinction of interpretation between the two directors. ...read more.

Conclusion

The way the characters speak and what they say, says a great deal about them. The two directors might have completely different interpretations of the play, but the one thing they clearly both valued was Shakespeare's way of language. They both kept the dialogue the same as the play. The purpose of Franco's film was probably to create what Shakespeare would have created if he was alive. This is clear because of how predictable and traditional Franco Zeffirelli's movie is. Baz Luhrmann's purpose might have been to attract the younger audience to Shakespeare as the fans of Shakespeare tend to be older. Both movies were excellently produced but I personally prefer Franco Zeffirelli's version of Romeo and Juliet because it's exactly what I think Shakespeare would have wanted the film of 'Romeo and Juliet' to be like. Luhrmann's version was very well made and much more effort put into it, but the original was still more appealing to a wider audience, because younger people can relate to it and older people can enjoy it because it isn't like the modern action packed kind of film. ...read more.

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