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Luhrmann's, 'Romeo and Juliet', is better at expressing the tragedy of the play to a modern audience than Zeffirelli's

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Savannah Shackleton

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Luhrmann's, 'Romeo and Juliet', is better at expressing the tragedy of the play to a modern audience than Zeffirelli's

Luhrmann's, 'Romeo and Juliet,' is better at expressing the tragedy of the play to a modern audience than Zeffirelli's Luhrmann’s version of "Romeo and Juliet" is more relative to a modern audience and helps to connect contemporary audiences to the classic play, while also appreciating its tragedy. Luhrmann’s version of "Romeo and Juliet" is far more effective in communicating the tragedy of Shakespear’s play, than Zeffirelli’s version. Luhrmann’s version is far better at communicating the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" through its use of modern set’s and props. Luhrmann’s version is better at making modern audiences feel the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" by its clever use of lighting and colour. Luhrmann’s version is much better at expressing the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" through the use of appropriate music. The acting in Luhrmann’s version was noticeably more realistic which made the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" much more prominent. Elements such as:
-Believable acting
-Modern props and sets
- Way Luhrmann re-created the classic play

Result in a far better communication of the tragedy of the play. Zeffirelli’s version is touching but Luhrmann’s modern interpretation is easier to relate to. Act Three Scene One setting:
-Busy, sunny, American beach
-Stall-like structures
-Graffiti in the background

Contemporary audiences can relate easier to a beach setting than a marketplace.
Instead of swords, this version uses guns.

Mercutio uses a piece of wood as a weapon
Tybalt uses a piece of broken glass and also punches and kicks Romeo.

Punching and kicking is a very modern method of fighting and so is very familiar to modern audiences.

The piece of glass used makes Mercutio’s death seem sad because of the brutal way in which he died. Luhrmanns choice of modern day props and sets makes his version more appropriate to contemporary audiences. -Very bright, making it look hot and dry
-Reinforces the way Luhrmann has made "Romeo and Juliet" a modern play
-Weather changes from bright and sunny to thunderous and overcast
-Helps to communicate the message of how tragic Mercutio’s death is

-If instead, the scene began with a rainy day at the beach, it would be interpreted as already being sad.
- Would take away the dramatic and tragic edge the change in weather gives the scene

-Bright greens and blues, nothing like the out dated, pastel colours used in Zeffirelli’s version. The lighting and colours used in Luhrmann’s version expressed the emotion of the scene making it more moving to a modern audience. -Music in Luhrmann’s version began relaxed and but changed as the tension escalated
-Gave the scene an ‘on edge’ feel
-Made the tragedy of Mercutio’s death much easier to understand and relate to
-There was no music used in Zeffirelli’s version
-Makes it even harder to relate to the tragedy of the scene and feel any strong emotion towards Mercutio’s death Luhrmann’s version used familiar sounds and dramatic, changing music making it more engaging and interesting to watch. -Performance of the actors was much more believable than the actors in Zeffirelli’s version.
-Emotion could be seen in their faces
=Dramatic performance but not over the top.
-Romeo displayed heavy emotion killed.
-Tybalt’s performance was very angry and violent -Mercutio acted like a young joker.
Example :
When Tybalt approaches Mercutio, Mercutio acts as if he doesn’t know Tybalt is behind him, but when he does turn, he begins making jokes and acting like he is not afraid of Tybalt.

The overly dramatic performance in Zeffirelli’s version only made the audience less sympathetic to Mercutio’s death. The authentic performance of the actors in Luhrmann’s version proved to be much more convincing and helps to make a contemporary audience appreciate the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet." Luhrmann’s version was better at making a modern audience feel and understand the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" -Luhrmann dramatically changed the age in which the story took place
-Act Three, Scene One's story wasn’t changed too much.
-Obvious changes in the way characters entered the scene

Instead of walking into the scene, Tybalt and the Capulet’s drove a car, as did Romeo.

-The change in weather from bright and sunny to overcast made the scene dramatic
-Made Mercutio’s death seem more important than it had seemed in Zeffirelli’s version.
-Zeffirelli’s version of the story is very close to the original play, although the fighting scene is slightly dragged out. The modern take on "Romeo and Juliet" in Luhrmann’s version made it more relatable to contemporary audiences and easier to understand the tragedy of the scene. The modern props and sets, authentic acting and the way the story was re-created into a film contemporary audiences can appreciate helped to express the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. While Zeffirelli’s version is relative to an out-dated audience, Luhrmann’s interpretation is easier for a modern audience to relate to.
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