The most important purpose for adopting a Shakespearean play to film is
showing the action and the real emotion of the play. I feel the Dicaprio
version fulfills this purpose better than the Zeffereli version for the
following reasons. Overall it is more entertaining, more attention is paid
to action scenes such as the intensity of the feud, and the music really
suits the play and makes it that much easier to watch.
When I say the modern version is more entertaining I mean that it is far
more captivating to watch then the Zeffereli rendition. This may be because
I am not very familiar with the Shakespeare language. Altogether, I think it
was so engaging because of the fact that I am a sucker for the action in the
film and also because it was newer and easier to understand. Even though the
characters speak in the same manner in both films, I felt that I was often
unaware of what was going on in the Zeffereli version compared to the
Dicaprio version where I understood what was happening in most of the
In the modernized version the feud of the families seems very real. With the
opening scene of the film you know right away how serious the vendetta is.
Even if the guns are not true to the story, I think they portray the
seriousness of the quarrel much better than any other version that I have
seen or heard so far.
Lastly, I enjoyed the modern interpretation more because it pays more
attention to detail. In the necessary spots the film always has the perfect
music. I also enjoyed the characters’ personalities, meaning I liked the
casting of Juliet, Tybalt, Mercutio and Benvolio. The only character that I
thought could have been better represented would be Romeo. I believe that
Leanardo Dicaprio was not the best choice and that many others could have
played the role of Romeo much more convincingly. There are only a few things
that I did not enjoy in the modern film. There was the casting of Romeo, as
well as the camera work that I found to be annoying to watch with the slow
motion scenes and the frequent repetition of shots of the same scene.
Finally, I didn’t like Romeo dying in Juliet’s arms when they were both
still alive. I think that they should’ve stayed with the written version.
All in all, I enjoyed both films and suspect that many people would prefer
the old one, yet many would enjoy the new one. Therefore they are both very
entertaining. Romeo and Juliet is a very engaging tale to read and a very
absorbing movie to watch.
Category: Book Reports