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comparing and contrasting the two videos of romeo and juliet

We have watched two versions of 'Romeo and Juliet'. One was made in 1968 by a man called Franco Zeffirelli and was set in Verona, in the Middle Ages. A man named Baz Luhrmann made the other movie in 1996. This version was set in America and is very modern. The stars in the Zeffirelli version were Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. The Luhrmann version starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. One of the main differences between the two versions of 'Romeo and Juliet', was the opening. The Zeffirelli movie had quite a slow opening, in contrast to fast and furious opening of Luhrmann's version. Both films used Shakespeare's play properly, but their outcomes were very, very different. Zeffirelli's version of the opening was set in a market square, whereas Luhrmann's opening was in a petrol station. When the Montagues and Capulets have a confrontation in Zeffirelli's film, the argument is quite courteous, in a mocking way. But in Luhrmann's version, everyone is frantic, especially the 'Montague Boys, but they still manage to put a shouted 'Sir!' at the end of each sentence. Also, before the 'Montague Boys' were shown at a petrol station, a newsreader is saying the prologue of 'Romeo and Juliet'. The newsreader then fades out and the viewer is shown empires, belonging to the Capulets and Montagues. This is meant to show you that the reason for the Montagues and Capulets rivalry is down to the business empires, belonging to the two families. In Zeffirelli's film, there was no reason for the bitter, prehistoric feud. Both films used suitable techniques and props for the film. By that, I mean the Zeffirelli version couldn't have a newsreader and in Luhrmann's film the people had to wear normal clothes, for this time and age. In Zeffirelli's film, the actors and actresses wore wonderful, extravagant costumes. These were perfect for the Middle Ages, and looked very impressive. Just by looking at the clothes, the viewer would understand the importance of the two families. In Luhrmann's film everybody was wearing normal, everyday clothes, so there was no way that, you could tell the people were from important families. Also, in the two versions, the weapons used were different. Luhrmann's film used guns and Zeffirelli's film used swords. Another technique that Luhrmann used, was the old language. The whole film was very, very modern, but Luhrmann decided to keep Shakespeare's old English in his motion picture. I found this really good, but it was also really confusing. I had just finished studying the book, so this helped me to understand the film. The two films are set in different locations, and this small factor changes the outcome of the two movies completely. If you watched the two movies, one after the other, you would be thinking, "This was based on the same play?", and amazingly the answer would be "YES!" Actually, you can tell the films are based on the same play, as they both have the same plot, but look ENTIRELY different. It's amazing! In both films, I liked particular actors and actresses. In Zeffirelli's film, I liked the Prince and the Nurse. In Luhrmann's film, I liked Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo. All these actors and actresses, named above, were exceptionally good. Well, at least I thought that they portrayed their characters well! Leonardo (Romeo) didn't impress me much, but I thought he did quite well. He wasn't as good as the others, but he was one of the better actors. I thought both Benvolios were good, but I preferred the Benvolio in Luhrmann's film. He was just very different to how I imagined Benvolio. Now, I didn't like the Nurse in Luhrmann's version, at all! She just seemed very boring, cold and not like a lifelong friend to Juliet. Also, Olivia (Juliet in Zeffirelli's version), wasn't that good. She was only fourteen when she did the film and that is impressive, because she wasn't bad at doing Juliet's part. The only thing was, I thought that she couldn't cry and sounded very fake. Which was a shame because she did the rest of Juliet really well. In both films, scenes were missed out. In Zeffirelli's movie, the scenes missed out were when Lord Capulet and Lord Montague, make up and become friends again; the Apothecary, which was when Romeo was buying the poison and the other scene missed out was when Paris was killed by Romeo in the monument. Scenes missed out in Luhrmann's film were also the Lord Montague and Lord Capulet scene and Paris's murder was also missed. To conclude this essay, I am going to tell you what I liked in both motion pictures. Firstly, in Zeffirelli's film, I LOVED the costumes. It would be worth watching the movie just for the costumes! I also liked the way certain characters were portrayed. In Luhrmann's movie liked the way Leonardo was acting in the scene where Romeo and Juliet have just spent their wedding night together. He was rushing about, grabbing his clothes and looked so frantic, it added humour to the heavy scene! Another thing that I really liked in this film was the ending. I loved the way Juliet woke up just as Romeo took the poison, because it filled everyone with dread and it was very sorrowful. Then when Juliet shot herself in the head, it was really dramatic, as you heard the sound of the shot. To summarise the two films, all I can say is that I loved them both, because they are so different, but if I had to choose, I'd choose the Luhrmann version, starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, just because I loved the ending.
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