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study of two romeo and juliet films comparison

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Compare and contrast the ways in which Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli present Scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' ? In this essay I will be comparing two film versions of the famous William Shakespeare play 'Romeo and Juliet'. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a romantic story about two star-crossed lovers whose families are at war with one another. The first film was made in 1968 and directed by Franco Zeffirelli; the second film that I shall be comparing it with was made more recently in 1997 and was directed by Baz Luhrmann. The main difference between the two films is the setting. In Franco Zeffirelli's version the film is set in Italy, in a village in Verona where the original play was set. Whereas Baz Luhrmann's film is set in Verona Beach a fictional place within Los Angeles. The other key difference between the two films is the time period the film is set in. Zeffirelli's film is set in the 17th century as was intended by Shakespeare; however Luhrmann's film is set in the modern era around the turn of the 21st century. A key contrast noticeable between the two films is the intended audience. ...read more.


This gives you the impression the Montagues are fun-loving, free spirits, who are at war with no-one. The Capulets on the other hand, are introduced with a far more sinister feel again due to the music, which is western/rock music. This immediately means we take a disliking to the more evil Capulets. Both films use some kind of music to show the power and importance of the Prince when he enters after the brawl. But again Zeffirelli uses the more traditional style whereas Luhrmann goes for modern, impacting music. On the Prince's entrance in Zeffirelli's version royal trumpets are played. This works in signifying that a powerful, important character has entered. There is no background music just the trumpeters alongside the Prince. They also play on his exit to create an effect of realism, as if it were a real Prince. However in Luhrmann's film the Prince's entrance is far more dramatic, it is very loud, emphatic, modern/classical music, similar to that played in the prologue. This also gives the impression that a powerful, important character is arriving but in far more exciting fashion. The contrast in music between the two films lessens towards the end of Scene 1. ...read more.


However before this Baz Luhrmann decides to have an extreme close-up of Tybalt's metal-heeled shoe grinding a match as he steps out of the car, this is also the cue for the western music, which all adds up to a very dramatic and sinister entrance for Tybalt. Zeffirelli doesn't do anything like this, as it wouldn't fit in with his aims, he just sticks to the traditional slow pan up the body. The film which I preferred was the more modern version by Baz Luhrmann. The reason for this being is that I preferred the music in it which was used to fantastic effect and very well thought out. Also it had that Hollywood slickness that only comes with a big budget. It was generally more exciting and engrossing probably because it was so different to your average traditional Shakespearean play. The modern slant on a timeless classic just gave it that edge. In conclusion I believe both films were successful in achieving what was intended. They both appeal to their target audiences. For the 1968 version the older, more traditional generation and for the 1997 version the younger, more action-hungry generation. Zeffirelli's film also showed that young actors can produce a great film and can act as well as there more experienced counterparts Joe Butler 10S Media Coursework Ms.Sale ...read more.

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