Romeo and Juliet Essay

Submitted By matthewluu1
Words: 849
Pages: 4

Romeo and Juliet Comparison Essay
Matthew Luu

Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is a very popular story. When you have a great story there are many different views on it. Two film directors named Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann filmed the story of “Romeo and Juliet” through their eyes, with two completely different movies. Franco Zeffirelli's movie (1968) was very close to what Shakespeare thought of upon writing this story. It was "authentic" and more to the script. On the other hand, Baz Luhrmann's film (1996) gave a completely different feel to an old classic. He made it so that in a way it would appeal to the more younger audiences (teenagers)and more modern. For this essay I will be comparing the two movies from Act 1 Scene 1 "The Opening Brawl".
There are many things that were similar and many that were really different. One example of really different was their choices of costumes. I think that Luhrmann went for a modern look. He made the Capulet’s wear suits giving them a gangster look and the Montague’s in casual shirts giving them a rebelious image. Luhrmann made it very easy to tell the two families apart by the colours of their car: Montague’s had a yellow car, and the Capulet’s had a blue car. However in Zeffirelli's film, the two families were dressed by specific colours. The Montagues wore red and gold and the Capulets wore blue and green. In my opinion, I think the choice of the costumes for Zeffirelli's film was very traditional and more believable. Let's go in thier setting choices, Baz Luhrmann's film has a completely different setting compared to the Franco Zeffirelli movie. With his goal of modernising the play, many things were changed. You could see this by looking at the weapons they used, their method of transportation and their homes. Instead of using swords, they used hand guns in the film. Instead of walking, they traveled by car. The movie took place in a fairly large city ("Verona Beach, California") whereas the play took place in a small old fashioned town ("Verona Italy"). One of the similarities between these two films is the language. In the Zeffirelli film, original Shakespearean dialogue is spoken. In the Luhrmann film, they still use Shakespearean dialogue but it had a different feel to it since it was filmed to be more modern. For Zeffirelli's film, the language used fits in perfectly because it works very well with the set and theme of the movie (it seems more natural to both hear and speak Shakespearean dialogue) . But in the Luhrmann film, it was weird to see the actors dressed in modern day shirts and jeans, riding around in cars speaking in Shakespearean dialogue.
In the Zeffirelli film, the fight scene takes place at a marketplace. But in Luhrmann's film, the scene takes place at a gas station. Watching the third brawl of the two films, I realized the huge range of camera angles used. In Luhrmann’s film, the camera was never in one place, it was as though the camera man kept moving like a person who was actually there. He also used many close ups. They showed both families feelings and facial expressions. This helped