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Media studies assignment – Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Media studies assignment - Romeo and Juliet I am going to compare the opening scenes of two versions of Romeo & Juliet - the 1968 version directed by Franco Zefferelli and the 1997 version directed by Baz Luhrmann. The opening music for the Franco Zefferelli version of Romeo & Juliet is classical, melodic, romantic, soft, and quiet and seems very Shakespearean. The Baz Luhrmann version is totally different. It is very dramatic, loud, orchestral music, modern with some very quiet parts in it. The Baz Luhrmann version is trying to attract a younger audience while Franco Zefferelli is trying to attract a more older audience. The Franco Zefferelli version has the quiet music on while the prologue is being spoken, however the Baz Luhrmann version has silence while the prologue is being spoken for the first time and when the prologue has finished, the music starts and I feel that this gives a better effect then the Franco Zefferelli version. The voice that speaks the prologue in the Franco Zefferelli version is a man's, he sounds old and wise, as if he knows more than the audience. There is a difference in the Baz Luhrmann version because here you see a T.V with a young black woman newsreader speaking the prologue, and then when the music starts the prologue is repeated, this time with a "wise" man like the man in the Franco Zefferelli version. ...read more.

Middle

It has a happy atmosphere. The Capulet boys come on first and they "work" the Montagues until they act in response. When the Montagues react, swords are drawn and the crowds panic. When they fight Benvolio, who is a Montague, tries to keep the peace. When Tybalt, who is a Capulet, appears, the crowds go quiet as if they were in the presence of an important person. I think that Franco Zefferelli wanted the audience to know that Tybalt was the first of the main characters. Tybalt is very cocky and self-assured. There is no music, just crowd noise. A bell rings and everyone panicked and the crowd tries to go away. Both houses try to put their swords away as the Prince arrives. A worried atmosphere is in the air. There is silence as the Prince and his kinsmen arrive on their horses. The Prince shows that he has authority and horn music starts as he and his kinsmen depart. The Baz Luhrmann version is very different. The scene starts with the Montague boys in the car going to the petrol station. When the Montagues arrive at the petrol station the Capulets are already there. The music for the Montague boys is a rap song whereas the music for the Capulets is western type music. ...read more.

Conclusion

Franco Zefferelli has set his version in Shakespeare's era so has overcome many of the problems of setting a Shakespeare play in the 20th Century. Because he has done this, he can use all the weapons and dialogue that is used in the script. I think the audience expects this film to be exactly like the play because of the way it is set in the beginning. Baz Luhrmann has set his version at the time it was made - 1997. He has made the version much more modern. To overcome the problems of setting the play in the 20th Century, and to show that it is modern, he changes the names of some of the things in the play like: Verona - Verona Beach, Sword - Sword 9mm gun and Prince - Captain Prince. I think that the audience expects this version to be full of action and excitement because of the way the first scene is set. Franco Zefferelli follows the script, almost to the word in his version. He has the Capulets starting the fight and in the staging of the fight he has them sword fighting each other. Baz Luhrmann has his version totally different. He has the Montagues starting the fight and in the fight he has them both using guns instead of swords on each other. This makes his version more realistic for me. Bethany Francis 10M English Mrs Shepherd ...read more.

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