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Romeo and Juliet Film Comparison

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Romeo and Juliet Film Comparison Franco Zeffirellis 'Romeo & Juliet' was the most popular film in the box office in 1968, eight years after he directed it on the stage in the West End. Baz Luhrmann created his version thirty years later, in a modern style. There are many differences and similarities between the films, but each does not change the tale. They use young actors and actresses to appeal to the younger audience at the time that they were released, but it is obvious to see the generation gap between them. The first noticeable difference is in the films title. Baz Luhrmanns 1997 version is named 'Romeo + Juliet', while Zefirellis is 'Romeo & Juliet'. Luhrmann used '+' instead of '&' because it is a more modern term, and his film is set in modern times. The '+' is also shown in the form a crucifix. Throughout Baz Luhrmanns film, the religious aspect of the families is stressed, and this use of the crucifix supports that idea within the title. Zefirelli uses '&' because it is a traditional form of writing 'and', and his film is a traditional style. The introduction of Zefirellis 'Romeo & Juliet' begins with panoramic views of Verona as the camera pans across the landscape. ...read more.


Compared to the Zefirelli film, it is almost the opposite. Luhrmanns prologue leaves and impact that it is going to be a dramatic movie. Zefirellis is very traditional and calm, set out like a fairytale. It also goes straight into the first scene, while Luhrmanns introduces and names the characters. As soon as the Zefirelli prologue has finished, it goes straight to scene one, which is later in the day, at the market. The Capulets are shown walking and talking. They are wearing red and yellow colour coded costumes with codpieces. The Montagues are wearing darker colours, dark blue and black. Baz Luhrmanns characters are the opposite. The first group you see in 'Romeo + Juliet' are the Montagues, who are wearing bright Hawaiian shirts in a yellow car. When the Capulets enter the scene, they are the ones wearing dark clothes in a blue car. The Capulets seem to be better dressed, making them seem superior and wealthier than the Montagues. In Franco Zefirellis film, the Capulets (in bright colours) are talking and they are the ones who bite their thumbs at the Montagues, which provokes the fight. In Luhrmanns film, it's the Montagues in the bright clothing that bite their thumb at the Capulets, but it is still the Capulets who provoke the fight. ...read more.


Luhrmanns gives you time to look at the characters and easily gives you a picture of what they are like, such as Tybalt who seems to be the 'bad guy', and Benvolio seems to be Tybalts worst enemy and wont be threatened by him. Franco Zefirellis film was made in a time where swashbuckling action was popular. This was also the time when teenagers were starting to 'rebel'. They had more freedom to go to the cinema and generally have a more disposable income. By using young actors and actresses, Franco Zefirelli attracted a wider young audience to see his film. Baz Luhrmanns film was made with younger actors too, but it was also made in the 'MTV generation', where crime, guns and fast action is widely enjoyed by younger viewers. Each film is different in their own ways, but they both closely follow the romantic and tragic tale of 'Romeo and Juliet'. The films were aimed at the same young age group, but are completely unalike. The generation gap between them shows how much life and interests have changed within thirty years. The films are in two different worlds. Zefirellis is romantic and medieval, Baz Luhrmanns dramatic and modern, but in each both directors have adapted the story to fit the demand of the viewers at the time they were made. Rhiann O'Neill Media Coursework ...read more.

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