Romeo and Juliet Adaptations
I believe that the (1961 )’West Side Story’ movie variation of Romeo and Juliet is superior to the later version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ directed in 1968 by Franco Zeffirelli. Jerome Robbins, the director of ‘West Side Story’, having a different objective/ representation of Romeo and Juliet has actually used different efficient methods to produce his film– which I consider to be more successful. Robbins picked it to be a change of Romeo and Juliet & & not the initial play from Shakespeare, but that’s not the only factor, if it is one, to acknowledge it as superior to Zeffirelli’s film.
Each director has actually used divergent concepts in their techniques, so different yet just to provoke from their audiences the exact same reaction. For that reason to figure out which movie transcends, you would need to consider those strategies. These range from visual techniques, such as style, significance and colour, to acoustic techniques which are just as significant as the recording strategies (kinds of cam shots and place of filming). Finally the most important element shall be talked about– the audience reaction. It is the assessment of the director’s success in achieving his purpose and the primary reason that I have determined ‘West Side Story’ to be remarkable.
To elucidate my arguments I will be using 3 scenes from each movie for simpler contrast. Gathering a conclusion from any three scenes would be quite biased, for that reason I have chosen the main scenes of Shakespeare’s story. These significant scenes can not be left out, even in the film, because without them the story wouldn’t have the ability to advance. This ensures that those scenes & & contrast points were of similarly high significance in both films (in spite of each director having a various style or concept). The first scene would be the fated meeting of Romeo and Juliet (dance scene).
The 2nd would be ‘Mercutio’s death’ and the 3rd is the ‘Crypt scene’. The methods utilized in these three scenes of both movies will be noted and compared to each other. Place of recording was very important to support the style, state of mind and genre; West Side Story was a change of Romeo and Juliet adapted in the 1950’s context of America, for that reason it was set and filmed in New York. Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet was totally based on Shakespeare’s initial play; hence it was shot in Italy. Both movies could be categorized as disaster, love and funny as well. WWS however was also a musical.
The representation of Romeo and Juliet straight impacts the remainder of the scenes. As Zeffirelli had actually chosen to do a dominant representation of Romeo and Juliet, his locations were stringent. The ‘Fated meeting’ was played at the Capulet’s party, ‘Mercutio’s death’ was played out in the town square– in Shakespeare’s play it was indicated that it was in some public location– and the ‘Crypt scene’ was played really in the tomb of the Capulets. WWS absolutely could not have used the same type of places for America in the 1950’s. The dance, where Maria and Tony meet, is held in some public hall and was not organised by the ‘Capulets’. Mercutio’s death’ was dipped into night in some remote location with high fences. There was no crypt, however that did not imply there was no crypt scene. The scene lay somewhere on the streets, where it made better sense to have security personnel prowling and fulfilling ‘Paris’, given that ‘Juliet’ does not die in this movie. Both films had advanced recording strategies, such as the use of developing shots to portray the neighbourhood (in WSS) and the city, long shots to reveal the relationship in between items and people and close shots (though they were rare) to reveal precise actions.
In WWS, close shots were utilized primarily on Maria and Tony to reveal their reactions on conference. Their dazed facial expression was the centerpiece as they first blush each other in the ‘dance scene’. ‘Mercutio’s death’ was recorded in primarily medium shots, even when the injury was caused and the ‘Crypt scene’ didn’t have numerous close shots either (there may have been a few). Though close shots may have recorded the minute of grief, maybe the designated climax had actually currently been reached and for that reason the falling action need not be delayed. Zeffirelli likewise utilized close shots to hold and emphasise the minute.
The close shots heightened the mood greatly. Upon meeting Juliet, Romeo’s smiling face remained in a close shot deeply contrasting the preceding close shots of his dismal appearance. Mercutio’s injury was displayed in an extreme close-up, to the audience a few moments before the surrounding characters realise. (It was shown from Mercutios’s perspective as the discomfort ended up being obvious). Mercutio insists them that the injury was enough to eliminate and he needed a cosmetic surgeon at the same time, but nobody realises that he isn’t fooling around til it was far too late. The close-up shot that was used in this scene, made the audience feel the grasp of fate.
It heightened the fact that the tragedy could have been avoided so easily (if just the injury had been seen by the others), yet fate was unchangeable as if it was set in stone. Zeffirelli’s crypt scene was shown in medium and long shots. The long shots revealed the fear and vastness that Romeo saw in Capulets’ tomb; the fear that he ‘d find his love’s death held true and the inability he felt without the presence of Juliet’s life. Although both movies were made in the same years, Zeffirelli’s movie was produced well afterwards so it remained in much better colour. But the technology space wasn’t wide; WWS wasn’t poor in technology.
In Maria’s and Tony’s meeting, the background faded into an odd mist, focusing on just the couple. It created a timeless scene and revealed that the couple remained in their own world entirely overlooking those outside of it, till they were pulled apart by their ‘families’. WWS had actually also used smooth colour transitions in between scenes. For example, as Maria was dancing in her room before the dance and ‘fated conference’, the background flashed orange, then red, then yellow and etc. ultimately combining and ending up being the dance scene. Mercutio’s death and the Crypt scene were recorded at night, in dark open streets or confined common locations.
The dark colours in both places foreshadowed that what taken place here would be risky with life-valued sacrifices. The darkness of the crypt scene made me feel that the catastrophe had actually truly ended. The last of the repercussions (for defying your superiors; government authority/guardian) had been dealt with and with the dawn of next early morning there would be a renewal of something beneficial for its difficulties; the peace of the streets and a truce between the gang. Both gangs have calmly concurred that they were even and together they performed Tony’s body. Zeffirelli had utilized medium dark colours for the dance outfits against rich white environments.
The dresses weren’t that brilliant, more reasonable to the Renaissance duration. Neon/ luminous colours appear too contemporary for that era. As Juliet was dressed also worn dark colours, a mystical crimson dress, she wasn’t particularly visible among the other visitors and dancers; the focus of the story was maintained by only the electronic camera. I believe Rosaline was standing directly in front of her and if she had actually stagnated Juliet would have been completely hidden. I think that this was one of Zeffirelli’s strategies. As Rosaline was expected to be the celebration and the factor Romeo had actually come, it wasn’t strange that she was in the focus of the electronic camera.
Yet as she moved better to the electronic camera it appeared to either lose focus or concentrate through her, so that her movement drew the spotlight on Juliet. There was a great deal of significance in Zeffirelli’s movie. A timeless white mansion, long train of individuals equipped with flags and white horses were used for the Prince who rode in front, with a long brilliant cape. Lord Capulet and Montague themselves had lengthy capes and beautiful headwear. Zeffirelli utilized bright half -red and half-yellow fits to separate the Capulets from the dark half-green and half-black clothed Montagues.
For this reason, the primary characters and their troupes plainly stood out from the normal residents. This was used beneficially as humour, to reveal the outrageous extent of their disputes and turn the film into comedy. In one of early scenes, a brawl breaks out and those worn brightly coloured Capulets rush out on the green and black Montagues equipped with proper weapons. An independent group of dull coloured citizens rush to sign up with the fight/fun, comically combating with blunt work utensils. For WWS the Capulets were represented by the Puerto Ricans who had recently immigrated to America, or in another sense, the ‘Sharks’ gang.
The Montagues were the local American ‘Jets’ gang. It was their facial distinctions and clear accents that distinguished them rather than their clothing. Despite this, there was no mistaking where each person’s loyalty resided. An example of significance in WWS, was the mutual silence in which both enemies carried out Tony’s body. It symbolised peace conspicuously enough to substitute for the epilogue Shakspeare had actually written and Zeffirelli had used. The characters in Shakespeare’s play were already provided their own unique personalities, however not whatever was clearly defined; how the characters were portrayed might vary by a lot.
WWS plainly believed that they didn’t need as many characters to reveal all the themes and beliefs of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. There were no ‘adults’ such as Lord and Girl Capulet and Montague due to the defiant functions of teenagers in the 1950’s context and as authority was held by the federal government a policeman sufficed as the Prince of Escales. This, obviously, did not change the ethical at all in the play. ‘If there were issues in commitment or disobedience, the repercussion would be death and disaster.’ Numerous WWS character served two roles simultaneously, which worked actually well.
Benvolio for instance, was Capulet and Tybalt, the only real family of ‘Juliet’. This extended the meaning in his death; even more solemnity and catastrophe. I believe it ‘d be more uncomplicated to note just or mainly the distinctions between their character representation. WWS had actually portrayed Riff as a trustworthy, reasonable and loyal to his gang. Even at the moment of his death, he had appreciated Tony’s plead. As he is wounded his last concern was to hand the knife to Tony showing the fact that he significantly appreciated his friend. It was as if the only thing that mattered even in death was that “I have not betrayed you. Mercutio in Zeffirelli’s film was likewise depicted as ‘a guy of honour’. Romeo had actually been able to withstand Tybalt’s mockery, yet Mercutio, to whom Tybalt hasn’t even intended a word of refuse, itched to begin a battle. He prided himself on defending his friends’ pride and couldn’t bear to see Romeo undermine his ‘male’s pride’. Tony in WWS was viewed as a growing teen, who had left his gang and was trying to find something more in life, while Romeo in Zeffirelli’s movie was more immature and rash. He was mistakenly sobbing like a kid over the unavoidable death of Tybalt and would undoubtedly have actually killed himself if the priest had not fasted.
He could not see that it was his rash actions and extreme feeling that had actually lead to Tybalt’s death and not only his own death but Juliet’s violent end. Both movies focused significantly on the love and disaster, but WWS’s justice-hoarding resolution and recoil protected a better ending. WWS ended the catastrophe with a funeral procession, in which the two homes each brought the bodies of Romeo and Juliet alongside each other. The prince reads the epilogue “… For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo”. In WWS however, Tony gets shot by Chino (Paris); he does not suicide with poison.
This increases the tragedy, for Romeo had actually died with the most bitter remorse at the specific moment he sights that Maria is still alive and well. He dies in her arms, with her reciting the last area of their duet. Maria sobs out that both sides had actually killed Tony indirectly with their hatred for each other and rather of killing herself with the gun, she swings it around in anger and sorrow. “All of you! You all killed him! And my sibling, and Riff. Not with bullets, or guns, with hate. Well now I can kill, too, because now I have hate! Unsurprisingly, she can not bring herself to kill anybody in vengeance and the violence satisfyingly draws to an end. The story deals with easily as members of both sides/”homes” bring Tony’s body out in natural forgiveness. I think that West Side Story is superior to Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, regardless of it being produced at an earlier date. Jerome Robbin’s techniques have actually produced an exhilaratingly awful momentum, and a more sensible Romeo and Juliet; some things were simply too unbelievable in Zeffirelli’s movie as times have actually altered and so have the audience.
This is also the reason why I think the audience reaction was greater towards WWS. In Zeffirelli’s film, there was too much foreshadowing showing more of a ‘past tense’ instead of a present tense; it appeared as if that fate had actually been composed and was only unfolding whereas in WWS it appeared that fate was still deciding, still adjusting which the result was because of the last action. (Tony could still have been rejoicing the rest of his life with Maria, had he not come searching for death/Chino).
Though you might state the same of Zeffirelli’s movie, I did not feel that way. I felt that the couple had actually been cursed since they had met and definitely ever more highly since Mercutio’s death. I discovered WWS had more natural events and appreciated their logicality and particularly how they had pieced together to give the very same ending as Romeo and Juliet. The most obvious example, would be Anita’s words, after she was dealt with direly by the members of the Jets in spite of that she was helping to relay a message to Tony, “…
Bernardo was right. If one of you was lying in the street bleeding, I ‘d stroll by and spit on you … I got a message for your American buddy. You inform that killer that Maria’s never going to satisfy him. You inform him that Chino found out about them and shot her. She’s dead.” In hurt and spite, Anita had easily twisted the ending of the love story. This revealed the inevitability of fate, no matter how close the couple were to a happily ever after the story doesn’t end there til it changes into the catastrophe.
I think that it was wonderful how the story had altered direction in the last minute to produce the exact same ending. WWS was a lovely improvement and fantastic adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, superior to Zeffirelli’s film in numerous ways. It was an innovation of Shakspeare’s catastrophe, whereas Zeffirelli’s was a duplication. It enhanced the catastrophe, violence, rhapsodic and passionate tones of the story and improved if not refined the representation of Shakespeare’s excellent work.