A Comparison of Lehrman's and Zeffireli's Film versions of Romeo and Juliet.

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A Comparison of Lehrman’s and Zeffireli’s

Film versions of Romeo and Juliet

        My aim of this essay is to compare the two versions of Romeo and Juliet that are directed by Baz Lehrman and Franco Zeffirelli. Lehrman set his in modern times with modern clothing and buildings. He still uses early modern English but with some lines changed, so the modern audience can understand the story a little easier. It was created in 1996. It is given a Miami beach setting with loud music and super-artsy sets, reviewers said “Natural born killers meet Stratford-Upon-Avon, a kind of Shakespeare MTV”. This version definitely helped younger people with the understanding of the play, and to appreciate the works of Shakespeare, simply because Lehrman could keep to the main basis of the story, yet modernise it to suit these recent times, and keep the audience interested throughout the whole of the film. It was certified as a twelve.

        Zeffireli’s version is set in Elizabethan times in Italy. At the time that this film was created it was the first version of Romeo and Juliet  where the two main characters were played by actual teenagers (seventeen and fifteen). He created the latest action, humour and romantic film version of Romeo and Juliet yet. It  was shot in Italy in three main cities of Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, but all the scenes of riot and duelling were shot in Gubbio. It was certified as PG.

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        Both of the opening scenes begin with the famous chorus “Two households both alike in dignity…” This gives you a basic outline of the story although it isn’t clear. Zeffirelli had a male voice talking with the same  tone of voice throughout it, it was a fairly plain tone but had the hint of sadness as well. On the screen all you can see is a border surrounding the town at the edge of the screen in orange and yellow swirls giving it an ornament look. There is a birds eye view moving across the town then through it, the ...

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