Romeo And Juliet Film Analysis

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Romeo and Juliet, the widely acclaimed tragedy written by the admired playwright, William Shakespeare, is considered to be the most famous of his plays. The fact that it has been adapted in countless films and ingrained in modern media all over the world is testament to it’s popularity. The story of Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy, and their untimely deaths due to their families’ feuds. Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann both directed very different cinematic adaptations of Romeo and Juliet through character portrayal and setting. The character Juliet, who is the main female protagonist in the story, is a young, innocent, and naive thirteen-year-old girl, according to Shakespeare’s text. Baz…show more content…
In Zeffirelli’s (1967) film, Juliet was played by Olivia Hussey, who was just fifteen at the time; in Luhrmann’s (1996) Romeo+Juliet, she was played by seventeen-year-old Claire Danes. Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare’s original text also shared charming amounts of chemistry and character development. Arguably, Zeffirelli’s film did a better job of interpreting this between actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting (Romeo) than Luhrmann did between Claire Danes and Leonardo Dicaprio (Romeo). Finally, the emotion showed by Olivia Hussey’s innocent acting was exuberant and natural compared to Claire Danes stiffer composure. Olivia Hussey’s portrayal of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (1967) gives a clear and impressionable interpretation of Shakespeare’s original…show more content…
First, in the scene where Juliet first meets Romeo at a party, Olivia Hussey’s acting and clever facial expressions tell us she is surprised and innocent contrary to Claire Danes drier acting and lack of facial expression. One scene, when it is revealed Juliet’s cousin Tybalt has been slain at the hands of Romeo profusely displays the difference in acting between Olivia Hussey and Claire Danes. Olivia as Juliet has a dilemma with herself and cries because she does not know whether she made the right choice of marrying Romeo as he has just killed her cousin. Conversely, Claire cries stiffly as a voiceover of Juliet’s lines from the original text play. Consequently, Olivia Hussey’s facial expressions and her display of emotion plays a more substantial role in the interpretation of Shakespeare’s original text than Claire
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