Similarties and Differences Between Romeo and Juliet Movies

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Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Is a play based on love, hate, tragedy and sacrifice. It has been retold many different times in both written and film text and it is effective and timeless throughout the use of many techniques. Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zefirelli are two directors who have made this classic play into film. Both directors have portrayed the major scenes within the play with some similarities and differences. The three major fight scenes being discussed are: the fight scene at the start, the fight scene between Tybalt and Mecrutio and the death scene of Romeo and Juliet.

In the first scene, the audience is introduced to the hatred between the two feuding families, and both directors portray this in similar and different ways. One similarity is the camera angles; there are close ups to reveal the palpable emotion on the Capulet’s and the Montague’s faces and bird’s eye views to explore the conflict. A noticeable difference between the versions is the music; Luhrmann uses intense, powerful music to set the mood, however, Zefirelli uses the crowd’s uproar. Another difference is the exposure of Christ; in Luhrmann’s, a huge statue of Christ is shown as a representation of the power of the Church over the lives of the people below. On the contrary, in Zefirelli’s, no religion is revealed.

During the fight scene between Tybalt and Mecrutio, Luhrmann and Zefirelli approach it in a very similar but contrasting manner. In Zefirelli’s version, the atmosphere is almost comical as the two battle it out; until Tybalt takes it too far and fatally stabs Mecrutio. In Luhrmann’s, Tybalt seems overcome with rage and fights Mecrutio mercilessly. The similarity in both versions is that when the fight ends there is a close up on Tybalt’s face that reveals his regret towards Mecrutio’s death. During the conflict, Luhrmann cleverly uses a visual metaphor in the background; the brewing of a storm. As the scene gets more intense, the storm becomes more pronounced, until...
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