In my essay I will be comparing lurhmann’s 1996 “Romeo and Juliet” with zeffireli’s 1968 version I’m going to look at the: Setting, time and place, background music, style and volume and also I will be looking at the: casting, characters, costumes, filming techniques, camera shots, angles, editing and special effects.
The setting is in a foggy misty place around dusk with the sun shining in the background and it was set in the 16-17th century set in Verona near the time the book was written. The music is very slow a harmonic kind of music with an old style, very low and suttle volume it suits the style of the film.
When the film gets into action you see that the actors have really tight clothes with bright colours also the market traders have traditional clothing. The characters have different wealth there are some rich people walking about with expensive bright clothes and there’s the tramps that have brown rags and look very dirty but it all adds reality in the film about how it was back in those times.
The filming techniques weren’t really up to scratch in them days but there were satisfactory for those times. There was a long shot/high angle long shot at the beginning of the film the other kind of camera angles are panning to the left and the right and zoom in and at the beginning of the film the camera zooms in slowly into the sun and while that is happening the cast’s names are coming up under the sun and in those days it was considered as special effects but those effects didn’t really add anything they were just bland and boring.
In the new version of Romeo and Juliet everything is so much better the camera shots and angles the special effects especially the music so overall everything was amazing.
At the time of noon the sun hot the temper high and at the very beginning a female news reporter is talking in a Shakespeare prologue on T.V which seems quite far away but slowly and gradually comes closer to the screen then all of a sudden it goes to a helicopter clip that shows the police, crime victims and the other violent scenes that are happening while she is speaking then all of a sudden a quick fast clip of a newspaper which has a headline which catches your eye. On the newspaper it tells the story of The gang fight which is on the front page and then is burns away to show frozen shots of the actors which funnily enough shows there personality in the way there facial expression is. So in a way they have frozen the film at just the right time to show there attitude’s e.g. Romeo has a picture of himself smiling then it freezes to him been angry so in the film you know in a sense what he is going to be like.
The music is dramatic and loud and the music shows there is going to be loads of action and drama in the film the volume goes low to loud and loud to low just to make your spine tingle enough to get you into the film.
The costumes of the characters to me are amazing I love the way they dress it’s a big vibrant loud way of dressing, looks smart and posh but at the same time it has that designer edge to it. The clothes are sort of Hawaiian style in a way with the flowers on them and the brightness of them.
And the gang members both have different styles some rugged some classy some even smart and gangster looking but the clothes are amazing and adds a bit of spark and flare to the film.
The filming techniques are up to scratch no there not actually they are thrilling, first it shows the women TV presenter than zooms of to a helicopter that leads you through the streets of Verona and it is amazing it makes the film it gets you hooked just on the intro. What makes it is when the camera zooms in and out panning left and right very fast and swiftly, and there are a lot of flashes of pictures and freeze frames of the characters this film is so dramatic i’m disappointed that I couldn’t see the whole thing.
The special effects are heart burning in the intro the fire burns the helicopter to go straight to a dramatic beginning, the freeze frames of the characters and the best effects are when it jump cuts scenes to short little dramatic scenes that is very effective and u don’t really see those effects in other films nowadays so that film has set an example but I don’t think no film has matched the special effects yet.
Overall I like the new version better it’s better to watch and to listen to the actors are better overall the setting is better the filming techniques are better but back in the day of the old version they didn’t have this kind of equipment, but lurhmann’s absolutely outclassed it and brought “Romeo and Juliet” back to life and on a whole new level lets just think what he might do next. Maybe Titanic 2? Never know.