The opening to Baz Luhrmanns Romeo and Juliet Essay

Published: 2019-10-22 10:10:04
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The opening to Baz Luhrmanns Romeo and Juliet seems a dramatic contrast to that of Franco Zeffirellis. The two films being set in different periods is the first thing that produces the known difference right away. Both films right at the start have something in common, they dont show a full screen view straight away. Franco Zeffirellis opens with the usual titles, in a somewhat medival font, these titles are shown over a view of what is thought to be the town of Verona. The view is made up of yellows and golds this adds to the calmness and solem voice of the voiceover-.

The voiceover is reading the introduction to the play he speaks slowly like the story of a great tradedy is about to be told, which it is. The language used is pure Shakespeare, spoke in the proper way. The scene starts in a market, a bright place where things seem to be colourful and busy, primary colour are used. The characters are dressed in tight trousers and hats, and going about their business in a mischevious way. It is obvious that this film is not set in the present day as the costumes are those of a different period.

Camera shots tend not to vary, things go along at a steady pace and doesnt show much of the town Verona itself. When the two houses meet in the market place, there is a tension which immediately shows the rivalry among the two houses, some banter commences which is very sedate compared to in Baz Luhrmanns version. Baz Luhrmanns opening is very different, a television appears on screen the television appearing immediately tells us that this is set in the modern world. The news in on the television, a black woman is reporting, this signifies the city of Verona beach is a multicultural enviroment.

The camera slowly zooms in on the tv. The news reporter is like the voice over on Zeffirellis reading the introduction to the play. The language is the same, just the accent and dialogue are different. When the introduction has been read, the camera shots are quick, snappy and fast showing scenes of different parts of Verona, including the two sky scrapers one belonging to the Montagues and one the Capulets, this gives us the understanding that they are business rivals. The music over this is modern orchestra which adds to the drama and impact.

Once again a voiceover tells the introduction in a voice which is slower than the newsreader, like in Zeffirellis version and along side parts of it in text are shown on the screen, the font for this is modern and bold unlike the medival text in Zeffirellis which clearly showed the film was set a long time ago. We have been shown parts of the modern city Verona Beach and been read the introduction, characters are now introduced a short still of each character along side them their name, and the modern opera still clashes in the background.

The characters, seem to be wearing modern fashion, and limos are even shown transporting the capulets and montagues. Once the characters have been introduced we see a group of boys, speeding down a highway, the wording is still very much Shakespeare but the accent and dialect is very much American modern day. The music has changed to rap which is a popular type of music among the black and white in amercia. The features of these boys daily lives seem to be shown,rich and dont know what to do with themselves. Trouble comes when they meet with a Montague guns are pulled out and vicious talk begins.

The two films are set entirely different but still remain to open to give a good understaning of the intro to the play and the era in which the two are set. The camera shots are more much varied in Luhrmanns version, to give the effects that were proably unknown in 1968 when Zeffirellis version was filmed. Luhrmann seems to give a buzz to the whole idea of Romeo and Juliet this is shown in his opening by the music, the shots and the pace wheras Zeffirelli wanted to keep the film as original as possible and this clarifys why everything is much more sedate and no accent comes into the speech.

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