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Romeo and Juliet - comparing film versions.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a famous love story written by Shakespeare, it has been played in theatres across the world and its famous romantic story is popular throughout the world of stage. Shakespeare wrote the story based on a poem he read about love. The story is about two young people living in Italy who fall in love but their families hate each other causing many problems. It is one of my favourite stories because I have seen it performed in London; it was fantastic. In this coursework, my task is to describe, analyse and compare the way two directors Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhmann (who both made the film of "Romeo and Juliet") have chosen to film act one. I must discuss the differences between the two films and write about; what type of audience the films were aimed at, how each film do time and place affect. Last of all I must express my opinion on the films and write about which one I prefer, the different styles costumes camera angles, cast and appearance on the whole. Act One Scene One begins with the prologue: a narrator explaining the story in brief. ...read more.

Middle

The dull, dark colours show that it is a tragedy as well. Lurhmann opens his up as an action comedy, tense music but bright colours. In Zeffirelli's version it starts with a long shot of a small town and the narrator speaking, who is male and has a deep voice, I believe this creates a satisfactory mood in the beginning so the film can set the scene and gain interest at the begin. After the narrator has finished telling the prologue the camera immediately moves to Capulet's servants walking around the market causing trouble. The colours are dull but blend in together beautifully. In Lurhmann's version he opens up with tense music to set the story as a tragedy and an action film. "Two households, both alike in dignity" this is only one sentence taken from the beginning but it sets the scene well, this passage is one of my favourites because it opens up a story so well, it makes the reader want to read more. A narrator with a deep voice narrates the prologue and action happens almost immediately at the beginning. This shows me Lurhmann has set his film up as a tragedy. The tense music is loud and booms while the narrator's deep voice tells the prologue. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lurhmann spices the story up and creates a whole new action for the beginning; he uses the same language as Shakespeare but different stage directions. The settings are different because one film is modern and the other is true to the story. Lurhmann sets his film at Verona beach in the U.S.A and Zeffirelli sets his in Italy where the story is set. Zeffirelli's version presents itself as a tragedy from the beginning but Lurhmann's opens up as a fast pace action. The time of both films are so wide apart that Lurhmann's version really stands out from Zeffirelli's, the special effects and quality of filming do not match each other at all. Zeffirelli has a great quality in his film for telling the story and it makes it come alive, while Lurhmann keeps the same Shakespearean language but changes a lot of the actions and scenes. My favourite version was Baz Lurhmann's because his idea of spicing up the story has really worked and it looks like a modern day version of Shakespeare's story. The film is funny, its fighting scenes and the character Mercutio (who is a drag queen in the film) bring a sense of humour to the film. I really enjoyed the modern version because it had everything, it was funny, tense, it had plenty of action and drama. ...read more.

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