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Comparing The Opening Scenes Of The Two Romeo And Juliet Films

1878 words - 8 pages

Comparing The Opening Scenes of the Two Romeo and Juliet Films

In this essay I will be comparing two Romeo and Juliet films done by
different directors at different times. The first film I will be
comparing was directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968, which is
considered the older version and the other film I will be comparing
was directed by Baz Luhrmann in 1996 and this is considered the more
recent version of Romeo and Juliet. For each film I will be comparing
the opening prologue and opening scene, which lasts about 10 minutes,
and both films differ in the way the scenes are set out and shown to
the audience.

In the more recent film of Romeo and Juliet the prologue is presented
in many different ways. The first image to appear on the screen is a
television with a newsreader, reading out the prologue, as if it is a
piece of news, the prologue is still in its original text so I think
it doesn't really work very well as newsreaders tend to be more
modern. The prologue is then shown in a form of a male voice over
which is very powerful and dominant whilst the prologue is being read
flashes of the film later on in the play are appearing on the screen,
I think this good because it is showing you visually what the prologue
is telling you orally, part of what is going to happen later on in the
play that has a great effect and sets the scene a bit. Also after the
flashes of the play still while the prologue is being read flashes of
bold white gothic writing against a dark black background appear which
are the lines written as the voiceover is saying them which draws you
attention very much to the screen. Parts of the prologue also appear
as newspaper headlines on the front pages which show's you how
important and powerful this two families are as small stories like
those made the front-page headings. The music in the background is
very churchlike/ religious music to begin with, which then changes to
a very fast almost blurred music to signify how fast this has all
happened and that the two families mean business. There are also
clippings of the city of Verona, where the play is set. There are two
big sky scrapers one with Capulet and one with Montague written on the
top there is also a church between the two symbolising that the church
is trying to bring the two families together to become friends rather
than enemies.

In the older film of Romeo and Juliet the prologue is set out in a
much simpler way when compared to the other film as there is only one
male voiceover which is done very slowly and mournfully which gives a
very depressing start to the film. During the voiceover the camera is
panning across the town, where there is a small market and a few
houses. We can also see from the panning that it is early morning and
there is a picture of the Sun rising which is...

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