Comparing Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story

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Comparing Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story In this piece of coursework I will be analysing the technical aspects of the opening scenes in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. I will be talking about the body language, costumes, colour schemes, the sounds, music and camera angles used in each of the films. Both these films are about two lovers who fall in love despite being in rival gangs or families, which eventually leads to both lovers from both the films to being killed or committing suicide. The film and play Romeo and Juliet has a similar story line to West Side Story. However this story is based in Verona, Italy and the rivals are not gangs but families, the Capilates and the Montigues. Romeo Montigue falls in love with Juliet Capilate after sneaking into her family's dance. This play has the same tragic end as West Side Story, however in this case Romeo poisons himself thinking that Juliet is dead and after realising that she took a drug to put her in a "Semi - Dead" state in order to miss the marriage with the husband that her parents picked her to marry, it was too late and the poison he taken effect and had killed him. After waking up to see her lover dead Juliet stabs herself and dies. The first technical aspect of both these films that are similar to each other apart from the body language are the costumes and colour schemes used. In West Side Story the American gang the Jets wear light and bright coloured costumes. The reason why they wear those types of colours in my opinion is to show the light refracting of the refined aerodynamic machinery their gang is named after. However their rivals th... ... middle of paper ... shot that covers the whole screen which shows the viewers images of the skyline of New York. This is similar to the Establishing shot used in Romeo and Juliet which was an aerial shot which showed the sunrise over Verona and its skyline. The other similar camera shot used in the both films was the one in which viewer saw the Jets gang for the first time and the Capilates youth were wandering the streets of Verona and the shot used in both these short sequence is a medium shot. Finally I conclude this evaluation of West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet by mentioning that both these films do have their similarities like the story plot, camera shots and all the other technical aspects I have mentioned in this essay. However each of their films do have their differences and that is what made them successful and famous.
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