The two rewrites of the Shakespeare classic Romeo And Juliet are set in very different; but very productive and effective style. The first, an up beat, fast moving reproduction by Baz Luhrman which remains faithful to the original story line; but this interpretation is a little less original and envisages a slightly more modern; yet off track version than the original. Compared to the likes of the Franco Zeffirelli version- which is a toned down version. But this still proposes the main story line with a more complex version of Shakespeare’s original terminology and past work. Baz Luhrman proposes and upbeat, modern version; with wealthy characters; guns; drugs and high speed car chases. Where as the Franco Zeffirelli version sticks to the original story line a lot better, with serene scenes set in rural Italy; and passionate sword fights. This does not propose the 50’s gangster feel that Luhrman aimed for, which betrays the story line. Act 3, Scene 5 is set in Capulet’s orchard. Lady Capulet arrives to inform Juliet of the Paris wedding. Juliet refuses to marry Paris; and gradually Lord Capulet looses his temper with Juliet to refuse the proposal to marry. The Nurse, urges Juliet to marry Paris, but being strong minded- Juliet rejects her offer, and her as a friend.
The initial set up of the Luhrman version flings an upbeat version of Romeo and Juliet and violently proposes them to those of the teenage era. This thrust to get the teenage audience in to the film is effective because not only does it appeal to the teenagers; but to adults too. Luhrman does this by using gangster like scenes e.g. police chases; drugs and guns to reel in the audience. This could possibly be to propose a moral to the young; or simply to add a much more likeable insight to Shakespeare’s original line up work. Furthermore; this version does stray from the original story line, but does add that injection of excitement the young crave for. This is a little odd in a Shakespeare classic ; but the skill of Luhrman is shown here- as he is still able to propose the basic story line; but add a twist to the modern Shakespeare. The toned down rewrite by Zeffirelli; which is set in rural Italian towns; and maintains the originality that Shakespeare aimed for with sword fights. This does not only interact with an elder audience. But the nudity scenes reel in the teenagers. This is effective because it proposes the complexity that Zeffirelli aimed for; and provides an understanding for the adult audience. Whilst keeping the younger generation happy with the nudity scenes. The Luhrman rewrite was produced in 1996; the original Italian setting is replaced by that of a Miami recreation. The mafia feel and guns betray the original; but still propose that root story line of Shakespeare’s work. The cultural context of this work thrusts the original to a younger audience in a more productive way. But because of this, an elder audience may not be suited to this production, and its violent roots. Where as the cultural context of the Zeffirelli version suits the elder a lot better, with the relaxed Italian scenery natural beauty and wedding scenes. In the Luhrman reproduction; teenage culture is represented with gun and drug culture; which is partially a envisage of the teenage culture we have today, and the crime spreading across the United Kingdom. In the Zeffirelli production teenage culture is represented by gentle laid back scenes, and some of nudity to reel in the younger audience. The intended audience are being targeted in both films differently. The first, due to violence and crime, the second due to nudity in a scene. This is effective because it appeals to all ages.
I feel Shakespeare’s original diction is slightly altered in both productions, for the younger audience to gain a greater understanding of the film. The original terminology is kept in great chunks in both films; but altered in some places for a greater understanding to those who are not familiar to the Shakespeare lexis choice. The mood is tense in both films, rather like a large rollercoaster with the characters emotions becoming more apparent as the films develop. The costumes in both films add to the authenticity; with aged shirts and trousers to emphasise on the Shakespeare theme. The casting in the productions are exceptionally different. In the Franco Zeffirelli version, the laid back Italian scenery provides a more Shakespearean vibe. Where as the Miami recreation produced by Luhrman partially betrays the original; and reels in a younger audience, with the use of a more modern and up to date destination. The speech in the productions still contain the Shakespearean terminology they are supposed to have; but with a modern twist for the younger generation and to provide a greater understanding.
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