Franco Zeffirelli expressed his interpretation in the 1967 version of the film, giving life to these characters in a major motion picture. His movie became the stance of these characters; and was authentic to what Shakespeare envisioned upon creating this story. In 1997, Baz Luhrmann embarked on his journey of telling this story, giving a completely different spin and face lift to an old classic. He modernized it in a way that would appeal to the present day audience, with the help of two young actors, Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Luhrmann adaptation of Romeo and Juliet has a completely different spin. The opening prologue, Two households, both alike in dignity is spoken by a news anchor that appears on a television screen. Unlike the narrator in the Zeffirelli film, the news anchor on television is more timely which grabs the audience with a more modern approach. The camera shots are quicker than those in the Zeffirelli film and cuts right into a shot of the houses of both Capulet and Montague, with loud boisterous music filling the scene to intensify the effect.
Romeo and Juliet: Franco Zeffirelli versus Baz Luhrmann
The Luhrmann film is a bit more edgy, more controversial, which I feel makes it more fun. It grasps the modern audience and holds nothing back. It is more compelling, more truthful, and at the same time, more admirable. One of the most outstanding effects for this film is the use of music. The same song serves as background music for most of the encounters between Romeo and Juliet. The music sets this film apart in a very positive way from the other film. Though it is less traditional, it holds the appeal of being romantic because it is more appealing to the audiences of today.