There are many obvious differences between these two films, the first one obviously being that the 1996 version is set in 1996 and is more modern, whilst the 1968 version stays true to the time period that the play was originally set in. But there are many differences then just the mere fact they are set in different times, and more similarities than the play itself.
But of course, the most obvious difference, like mentioned above is the fact that they are set in different time periods. The 1996 version was set in a modern beach town along the Californian coast, called Verona beach. Instead of using swords and horses, these props are replaced by guns and fancy cars with personalized license plates .While the 1968 version is set in Verona, Italy as is the original play. In addition it keeps true to the props used in the original version.
The 1996 version dramatizes the action, in order to keep the audience’s attention. For example, as Mercutio dies, things turns stormy and rain begins to fall. Although there is a subtle and classy way to have the weather depict the moods of the story, this was just too much. The battles are always bloody and stagy, with although is sometimes correct it’s not always necessary and sometimes take away from the scene. In the 1968 version is much less exaggerated. For example, the duel between Tybalt and Mercutio is more of an accident as opposed to a targeted attack and there are no dramatic turns in weather that are supposed to reflect characters moods.
This dramatization is not the only difference between the two versions. Both movies depict the characters quite differently. For example, Mercutio in the 1996 version is quite loud, boisterous and gaudy; in fact his attitude reminded me of the Nurse’s in the original play. He is definitely seen as comical relief throughout the play, although I’d hardly call his actions comical. Once again, the 1998 version indeed depicts Mercutio much like he is seen in the book – hotheaded...
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