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Compare and Contrast Two Productions of Romeo and Juliet

            In 1968 Franco Zeffirelli's version of the classic Shakespearean tale of love, Romeo and Juliet was released. It has since been critically acclaimed and has become the standard by which all other productions are measured. In 1996 Baz Luhrman set out to create a different sort of story, one full of action and suspense moving at a terrific pace. This different aim has resulted in a film that is in sharp contrast to the "original" version. .
             The two productions of Romeo and Juliet set out to achieve different results. The change is evident right from the beginning of the movie, where Baz Luhrman introduces the viewer with fast paced music and constantly changing camera angles set in the new Verona that looks more like a modern city than a medieval town. Zeffirelli, instead produced a copy that tried too emulate the atmosphere and mood of the original work by Shakespeare. It is probably a more complex yet less exciting movie than its modern counterpart, but is still an example of outstanding filmmaking in its own right. .
             One good example of this contrast in styles is evident in the scene where Mercutio is killed and afterwards during the wedding. Under the direction of Luhrman, the change from one sad event to the happy occasion is dramatic and fast, whereas the older version is more stable and almost subdued, without the dramatic changes. Before the fight, Luhrman shows a panoramic view up to the brewing storm, highlighting the sounds of thunder and lightning. Then the Capulets arrive in their cars and a chanting music starts to play. The combination of this, and the heartless way in which Mercutio is killed by Tybalt (in the back) seems to indicate that they were cold-blooded villains. The Zeffirelli version does not emit the same radiance of tension during the scene. Mercutio, is in fact jestering with Benvolio before the Capulets arrive. After Mercutio is stabbed, Tybalt even shows hints of regret, sadness and fear, indicating he is a real person and not the cold-hearted killer as in the portrayal by Luhrman.

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