Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is both a comedy and a tragedy. After watching two different film interpretations of it, this still holds true. Franco Zeffirelli’s 1986, “Romeo and Juliet” and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996, “Romeo and Juliet” are as different as two films can be with the same storyline. Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” is a timeless and classic version of the story of two star-crossed lovers. The setting and costumes portray exactly what Shakespeare was thinking when he wrote the play. Luhrmann’s 1996 version is the complete opposite. This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet takes place in present day Verona, California, although they still speak the same as in Verona, Italy, during the Elizabethan age. The two movies have the same plots, although they are portrayed very differently.
Romeo andbecomes more enjoyable. Having a Shakespearean play set in modern times isn’t exactly the most appetizing idea, but the 1996 “Romeo and Juliet” is amusing. In one word, I would describe this movie as epic. The music, scenery and costumes ther, the setting isn’t reflective of the script. One of the most romantic scenes is turned into a comedy because of where they are. The costumes don’t show much about the character’s personality, either. Because everyone is obviously wearing what is in style, their costumes don’t allow their personalities to shine through. “Romeo and Juliet” is interesting and a quality film, but, to me, it tries too hard to be a comedy or action movie, as opposed to the tragic romance it should have been.
Both versions of Romeo and Juliet are beautiful love stories. I think that anyone who watched either one of these films will learn and maybe understand the power of love. The actors playing both Romeo and Juliet show the tragedy and romance that Shakespeare wanted the audience to see when watching his play. “Romeo and Juliet” is about growing up, and making your own decisions. It is about love, and the dangers that come with it. It is about trust, forgiveness, loyalty and truth. And above all, it is about choices. Although each director interpreted the scenes differently, anyone can see the passion and pain portrayed on the screen. The audience will learn how important different aspects of film-making are, like setting, music, and costumes, but they will also learn the tragic story of “Romeo and Juliet.”
If I were to recommend these movies to people, I think the ratings of the movies do a pretty good job. Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” is rated PG, and I agree with the fact that younger kids could watch this version. The violence that occurs isn’t that scary, and although younger children might not enjoy it because they probably couldn’t understand it, they could watch it. Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which is rate PG-13, has violent parts that would probably be frightening for younger kids. Both films are for teenagers or up, just because the language that is used is Shakespearean and sometime difficult to understand. Overall, I would give Zeffirelli’s version an eight out of ten, and Luhrmann’s version a six out of ten. Each film had good and bad parts, but overall I enjoyed the 1968 version more. All in all, both versions were very good, and, I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed when they ended.