Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous and well known plays. It has had such a timeless effect on literature , and is one of the most common plays to be recreated or interpreted. Following this i will be comparing and contrasting two interpretations of this play. These interpretations are in the form of a movie, 1968’s Romeo and Juliet and 2013’s Romeo and Juliet. Although both versions are quite similar there are still many differences between the two.The 1968 version is a lot more similar to the original play and follows it quite well. While the 2013 version is a lot more modernized. The directer of this particular film took a lot more chances and risks and didn’t follow all the key themes.I noticed many differences between the films such as the Introduction, Romeo’s character development and the overall attention to detail. Below i will be discussing these and how each movie portrayed them.
A huge and very noticeable difference between the two movies were the introductions.In the 1968 version the introduction was kept classic and included the entire prologue as well as the opening scenes of the servants fighting in Verona. This introduction set the tone for the rest of the movie, and the audience was made aware this movie would be very similar to the original play. The 2013 version however was very different and had changed the introduction. The beginning included a jousting match between the Capulets and Montagues and only part of the time-honoured prologue was included.This introduction excluded spoiling the ending from the prologue which is such a huge part of a tragedy play such as this one. By changing the introduction so much it left viewers who know of the original play confused and questioning what else the movie would do differently. These films attempted the introduction very adversely and had both set their tone of the movies very clearly from the introduction.
Another very different trend I noticed in each of these films were Romeo’s character development. The 1968 version kept his character similar to that described in the original play, Romeo’s relationship to other characters is similar and the audience can see Romeo develop as the play progresses. This was not the case in the 2013 version. Romeo started as a confident,hot headed boy and remained that way throughout the movie. He wasn’t even portrayed as love sick for Rosaline, which is a major part of his character in act one.The theme of Romeo growing from a young boy to a young man is such a crucial element of the play. It shows the audience how much Romeo evolved in such a short time because of his new found love for Juliet. It was because of this failure to truly capture Romeo as a character that the 2013 version of the play felt weaker .
In conclusion I believe the 1968 version of the classic play Romeo and Juliet was better tenfold and portrayed the original play well. The 2013 version was very weak and lacked several of the key themes and elements. It was obvious the the 2013 version was more comfortable taking risks, however I think that too many risks were taken and the movie began to lose its audience.Personally I found myself searching for what was different in this version rather than viewing a replication of the play.The 1968 version was not an exact replication of the original play,nevertheless it still kept the key themes and elements making it a lot more enjoyable for the audience.Although these movies portrayed the play Romeo and Juliet very differently both movies were still able to capture the effect of Romeo’s and Juliet’s forbidden love on the Capulet and Montague family.