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In this essay the opening sequences of the two versions of Shakespeare's disastrous love story,

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In this essay the opening sequences of the two versions of Shakespeare's disastrous love story, "Romeo and Juliet" have been compared. The traditional and conventional version, which was made in 1968 in Italy, was directed by Franco Zeffirali, and the modernized and the updated version, was made by Baz Lurhmann in 1996 and is set in modern Verona Beach. Zeffirali's version is a spectacular, although old-fashioned movie, which throws a net at traditional, middle aged and romantic people. The characters of 'Romeo' and 'Juliet' were played by unknown characters at that time, Olivia Hussey (Juliet) and Leonard Whiting (Romeo). There is a comprehensive contrast between Zeffirali's version and Lurhmann's one, which presents itself as soon as the movies begin. Lurhmann's version is an unconventional, modernised version of Shakespeare's tragedy and it is specifically directed at a youthful audience. Even the characters are also aimed to grab the whim of its audience. In this version the character of Romeo is played by Leonardo Di Caprio, to target its youthful audience. Another element which probably has influenced in a big deal to attract and evocate the youngsters is the MTV style production in this version. Lurhmann tried to create a twentieth century version of Shakespeare's love story. Here in comparison to Zeffirali's version, every thing has been updated; fast cars with rowdy engines are used rather than the old way, horses, or instead of swords and daggers, guns stand in for 99mm swords. ...read more.


One of the remarkable sample of actors, who marvellously infuses his emotion with an appropriate facial expression, body language and tone of voice to the viewers is Michael York, brilliances in the ferocious and malevolent character of Tybalt. He illustrates his enormous hatred of Montagues, when he talks to Benvolio. In Zeffirali's version, original Shakespearian language is used as the dialogues but the actors and the actresses deliver it distinctly and clearly to make it easier fro the audience to follow the play. Despite the Italian setting in this version, the way that the characters talk, dressed and their attitude are mostly in English way. In this version colour of customs are used to discriminate the Montagues and Capulets as well as their manners. The director characterises the Montagues as meek, dusky and solemn people by using dark and simple outfits fro them and unlikely Capulets are presented as joyful and jovial people by their clownish colourful customs. In Lurhmann's version the prologue is being read by an anchorwoman on a television screen. This is one of the clever ideas that the director uses to make a distance from the common film conventions and also to modernize the old story. In Lurhmann's version of "Romeo & Juliet" settings and props are updated as well as the actors' attitudes and their general looking. ...read more.


Variety of emotions is the vital elements that animate both opening sequences. The lack or the weakness in presenting certain emotions makes a movie absurd which doesn't exist in these opening sequences. They portray the different sentiments and feelings in certain situations. In addition to the well acting of the actors in both sequences, camera shots and background music help to depict the sentiments. Zeffirali impresses the viewers with the realistic and emotive feelings. Anger, abhorrence, fear, humour, friendship and etc pack up every single part of the opening sequence. Better than Zeffirali's version, Lurhmann convey the certain emotions, ornamented with some entertaining and humorous aspects from such a diverse period of times. The consecutive feelings such as terror, aversion, jocularity and etc in this sequence, builds up tension efficiently among the audience. The climax of the emotion in both sequences are the adversary talk between Benvolio and Tybalt, which emphasises the disgust and frighten with the help of extremely effective close-up shots and effective background music. It is hard to choose the better movie between the realistic and conventional version of Zeffirali, and the modernized and the 20th centuries' version of "Romeo and Juliet", the Lurhmann's film. Zeffirali's version evocates the viewers with creating the realistic picture of medieval life style, while Lurhmann astonishes the audience with the modern technologies. I prefer the stirring and magnificent aspect of the originality in Zeffirali's version rather than the artistic and modernized movie of Lurhmann. ...read more.

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