Romeo & Juliet Text and Movie Comparison
· 1996 Baz Luhrmann ‘Romeo + Juliet’
· 1968 Franco Zeffirelli ‘Romeo & Juliet’
· William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’
Qaem Syed | 9.2 | 20/07/2017
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has been a very successful love story which has been a very popular love story from the past still told to date. Every different version of this story captivates the audience in a different way by the methods used to tell them. Two men, Franco Zeffirelli (1968) and Baz Luhrmann (1996) told the tale of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with to completely different impacts on their audience. Both movies are very similar to the story and characteristics of the text and also use much information from the text in their own movies such as the story and outcome and characters but have omitted many scenes and dialogues and changed many perspectives of the play which suited their own vision of the story and modern film making such as music, the multiculturalism of the cast/actors, costumes, settings and other props. Despite many changes and deletions, the several themes such as death, love, tragedy, hate, family and violence still remain evident throughout the movie and therefore have been faithful to the original text and can be viewed triumphant because they successfully portray the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet.
A very noticeable change with the transferring of information between the text and the movies is that major edits were made by the shortening of scenes or complete deletion so the film is suitable to viewed by modern audiences. This decision was also made to keep the movie fit between a two-hour limit as according to its introduction, ‘two hours’ traffic.’ Due to this action, some important parts are missed out such as Paris not being killed at the Capulet’s cemetery in both film versions. Despite certain edits, Franco Zeffirelli’s film was very much the movie version of the book with the setting, cast and costumes it seemed much more of a traditional Verona and alike with the book whereas Luhrmann’s film was a fast paced movie with much more action much to the liking of modern day audiences. In the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, the nurse plays a less pivotal role and many of her dialogues were omitted which gave the audience a lesser understanding about the strong relationship between the Nurse and Juliet which doesn’t really aware the audience why Juliet felt betrayed when Nurse was in favour of Paris after Romeo’s banishment. Many other similarities are evident throughout both movies such as the opening scene which has remained the same only displayed in a very different way, where in Franco Zeffirelli’s film it was read in the background whilst showing some of traditional Verona and instead to fit the modern outlook, Baz Luhrmann had his opening told by a news reporter on a television screen. In both movies the introduction has been displayed suiting the environment of the movie and the setting the directors...