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This essay will focus on how Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann portray the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

This essay will focus on how Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann portray the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet. The traditional version of Romeo and Juliet was directed by Franco Zeffirelli in which Leonard Whiting played Romeo and Olivia Hussey played Juliet. This version was made in 1968 and aimed at the older audience. It was made in a way that was more accessible to the way Shakespeare wrote it. The modern version of Romeo and Juliet was directed by Baz Luhrmann. In this version, the character of Romeo was played by Leonardo Di Caprio and the character of Juliet was played by Clare Danes. This version was made in 1996 and aimed at a much younger audience because it is more up-to-date and appealing to the newer generation. The opening scenes of a film are important because they introduce the audience to the setting, main characters etc. They are also important because they hook the audience into the film and make them want to continue watching the film. However, if the opening scenes are monotonous then the audience might not enjoy the film or not even want to watch the rest of the film. ...read more.

Middle

This makes it hard for the audience to judge their personality and status, however in the modern version, the Montagues wear Hawaiian shirts that have bright colours and have pink hair, which shows that they are very chilled out, and funny. The Capulets in the modern version wear dark coloured vests/waist coats with bullet-proof jackets and shoes that have metal heals. These kinds of clothes describe their personality as serious and/or strong. The story is supposed to be set in the city of Verona. Zeffirelli's Verona was more authentic like the one Shakespeare had described in the original story. It was set in Italy and had small buildings whereas Luhrmann's Verona was much more contemporary. It was set in Miami, U.S.A and had really big buildings to symbolise the status of the Capulets and Montagues. The accents of people in the traditional version were more English and slower however, in the modern version the people spoke more quickly and had American accents. The camera shots in Zeffirelli's version were mainly medium shots and medium close-ups were used so that more people could be pictured. ...read more.

Conclusion

The humour in the modern version makes it delightful for the audience to watch. Overall, the main aim of Zeffirelli's version of Romeo and Juliet was to express the story of Romeo and Juliet how Shakespeare had imagined it. It is much closer to the original story that Shakespeare wrote than the modern version because of the clothes, events and settings used in it. It was made for the audiences of the 1960's therefore; it is not as appealing to the present-day audiences as it was then. Nevertheless, the main aim of Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet was to make the film as up-to-date as possible and entertain the newer audience by the action and humour used. Things such as the places (Italy to USA), weapons (swords to guns), and modes of transport (horseback to cars and helicopters) were changed to make it more exciting and accessible to the younger generation. In my opinion, the modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet had a more enthralling opening and is much more interesting and fun to watch than the older version. ________________________________________________________________ Essay written by- Aarushi Mehta 10.3 English Coursework ...read more.

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