William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

The opening sequences of Zeffirelli’s ‘Romeo And Juliet’ and Baz

Lurhmann’s ‘Romeo And Juliet’ are different in their own ways.

Zeffirelli’s is older and more traditional. Franco Zeffirelli directed

his film in 1968, starring Leonardo Whiting and Olivia Hussey as Romeo

and Juliet. It was made in the UK, filmed by paramount pictures corp.

and was on general release. Lurhmann directed his version of ‘Romeo

And Juliet’ at Verona Beach in America. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio as

Romeo and Clair Danes as Juliet, this film is a modern 20th century

recording of Shakespeare’s love story. Both directors try to use their

opening sequence to show us a clip of their interpretation of

Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo And Juliet’. Both openings set different moods to

the films and just by looking at the opening sequences we see a mini

trailer of each film. We can tell vaguely what the film is going to be

about and what genre it is in. Zeffirelli’s opening is calm and gives

us a sense of a romantic tragedy as the prologue is told and the

titles appear. Lurhmann uses his opening to give us a sense of action,

murder and rivalry between two family groups. The opening sequence to

his film is fast and action packed, and uses clips to illustrate the

prologue as it is being said. For example he shows two similar towers,

representing the Montague and Capulet families as the line ‘both alike

in dignity’ is being said.

Audience expect a typical ‘Romeo And Juliet’ film to be tragic,

depressing and Romantic. The expectations we get are because a

Shakespearean play is old and traditional. A climax is usually present

at the end and the villains do not have happy endings. However, even

thought the villains don’t win, not all of Shakespeare’s plays have

happy endings. Classical music is always an expectation from

Shakespeare as his plays are set in old times.

The purpose of an opening sequence is to set the mood for the film, as

we learn from the openings of Zeffirelli and Baz Lurhmann’s
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