The pace for this version is slow due to a lot of time spent on the opening scene. It focuses on telling us about the film and what it’s about and also the view of where it was set and not to forget it also spends time on telling us about the two sworn enemies and their characters. The mood is dark, aggressive and more dramatic because after the prologue the music hits you and the tone of voice was like a loud speaker beaten with extreme energy into the atmosphere. Whereas Zefferelli version was in the 16th century and it follows the script of Shakespeare the way it was wrote.
Although the pace is fast, this could be because in the opening scene they got on with the play by using low camera angle shots. They choose to stick to the normal text “draw for your sword” even though it’s a gun. In the first scene the mood was aggressive. However In the other scenes it was tenser and calm and more romantic due to its focuses on Romeo and Juliet. Also, on the opening scene the tone was harsh and deep to start with to develop the feud between the two sworn enemies.
Overall the tone is soft and sharp to build more effect on their romantic love scenes. Their way of style was addressed in a 16th century way to follow the script of Shakespeare; you could tell by the way they were dressing, who had high status and low status. Whereas the characters in Baz Lurhman wore modern clothes and more casual wear to what people would wear now because the style and play was set in the 21st century. The first version of the Prologue was presented to us with a small old television with a blacked out background.
The woman voice draws your attention in with its calm tone of voice, which tells us in a news form of way what the two sworn enemies are like and also a brief information about the two lovers Romeo and Juliet. The second version of the prologue starts with a chorus which describes the two sworn enemies in the city of Verona in an aggressive form of way. It flashes us clips about the city and the impressions the viewers are giving about Verona Beach is that the place is not a safe place to be. During the flashing of clips u see a man been held down on a mattress by a police man.
Every clips of it shows a gun. The city doesn’t look like an Italian city it was made to look like New York. This prologue also lets us know that they catholic. The form of text they used was white text on black screen, using newspaper to show lines of the prologue. The sort of music played in this sequence was a dramatic music and orchestra music been played. Although in this prologue it was a male voice been used, the tone of voice was deep but told in bold written on a newspaper with characters pictures on it.
The third version of the prologue is presented very far and the sorts of expression shown on the face of the Capulet parents were sad and also were the Montague parents. The expression shown on Mercutio face was him feeling or ready to kill someone. In this sequences the two important characters were not shown this could be due to their innocents and both of them not seen each other as enemies. However Zefferelli version didn’t have a prologue the director just shows us a high angle short of the Italian city and market, then shows the characters with a low angle short then you hear their voices.
Images of violence and the characters are seen as gangsters. The presentation of the feud between the two families are you could see by the facial expressions that they don’t like or agree with one another. Capulet ask for a fight then one of the Montague men was forced to draw for his sword then the fight gets more serious and fights develops with pushing, shoving among peasants, then they ring the big bell to inform the others that there’s a big fight then people get more involved. Sword fighting, rocks thrown above, vegetables thrown and wrestling to the floor.
Tybalts character in the Zefferelli is betrayed as the leader of the gang. You see him without shot of his feet and moving up to his face with his gang behind him in a triangle formation which shows that is an important character. His also aggressive and hard hearted doesn’t have any pity for no one apart from themselves. He’s also very mocking, likes making fun and gesture of people. Whereas on the Baz Lurhman, his betrayed as a arrogant man and a low angle screen shot to show us his Cuban hill shoes in a cowboy form of way but metal and big.
Then the camera shows his clothes with a western music on the background which links to what his wearing. A leather jacket used to let us viewer know his religious because inside the jacket theirs a big image of Jesus on the inner clothe he was wearing. In my point of view I think his vain and fashionable. His character is showing has confident, arrogant and sharp, you can tell by the way he holds his gun. He holds it in a calm and cool way, knows that his in control and a well known leader and a very good sharpshooter.
Once is sword is drawn it’s something to be feared of. The way he also walks is cool calm and collected. The presentation of the two versions is both equally dramatic even though Zefferelli fight scene shows more chaos and bloodshed. But they both show the anger between both families clearly. The director’s expectation is trying to capture young viewer especially student, trying to bring Shakespeare to life. In conclusion I would rather watch Baz Lurhman due to his understanding of kids. He knew what kids of now days like so he made it spectacular, sexy and fashionable.