Zeffirelli has paraphrased it, meaning the lines have been swapped, Lady Montague says her line before Old Montague’s says his line instead of after it. After about a minute of the fighting Prince Escalus and his guards enter on white horses which symbolises pureness and royal. Their horses prove that it is authentic to the time. While this is being shown his guards play trumpets, get attention towards the Prince for his speech. The Prince’s speech is correct to the text, but he says the first line from the text and then misses five lines, then he says the lines after these.
The speech has been made shorter. He uses the bits that are important. The film misses out over a third of the text so that the audience can concentrate more on the visuals. Zeffirelli has cut a lot of key phrases out of the film from the text, but it is still close to the text, he keeps main words accessible to the audience who watch it so that they can enjoy the film without actually having to know the text to enjoy it. Throughout the scene Zeffirelli tries to create a picture of two rival families fighting in this town.
The scene is very close to what Shakespeare would have envisaged it himself. Baz Luhrmann’s version of the play is a lot different to Franco Zeffirelli’s version. For one it is set in the late 20th century, in the city of Verona. The city is modern, with tall buildings and highways. The first scene opens on a bright sunny morning. The costumes worn are authentic to the 20th century, but the two houses clothes are quite bizarre, with the Montagues wearing pants and very colour full t-shirts which go with the hot sunny climate setting. While the Capulet’s wear pants and vest shaped shirts.
Also the Capulet’s wear spurs, which portray them as hard. The two household’s clothes are livery to their own household. The Montagues are bright colours such as orange and yellow. And the Capulet’s are darker colours such as blue and black. Luhrmann’s choice of livery colours are the reverse to Zeffirelli’s choice of livery. Just like Zeffirelli’s version, luhrmann opens it with a prologue. The prologue is read by a woman news reader on a TV, so it’s like you are watching the news in Verona after the events in the film have taken place. The prologue is correct to the text.
The news reader reads the prologue in a slow pace and as its being read the camera gradually gets closer to the TV, when she finishes the prologue, the camera suddenly zooms in quickly on the TV and you hear an effect which sounds like a tape being rewound. Immediately afterwards, the film shows views of modern Verona, scenes from the film, some words of the prologue flashed up, another narrator telling the story in more description to the prologue, dramatic music playing in the background and brief information about some of the characters.
The pace of the music and the scenes from the film becomes faster until it reaches a climax where it opens into the first scene. This introduction from the news reader to the scenes from the film is like the story is going back in time, from the news reader after the events have took place and then scenes from the film going back in time, opening the first scene. The first scene opens on a highway in Verona, a modern setting. Three of the Montague boys are joyriding along the highway in a fast car, shouting to other drivers causing mayhem.
Contemporary Up to date and high impact Music is played in the background. The conversation about colliers is not included in this film either. Luhrmann portrays the Montague’s as trouble makers in this version; a difference from Zeffirelli’s where the Montague’s were the good people of the two houses. Benvolio says “The Quarrel is between our masters and us their men. ” This line is said by Sampson in the text and in Zeffirelli’s version. The scene now goes to a gas station in Verona where the Montague’s arrive. This is not really a public place compared to the Market in Zeffirelli’s version.
Benvolio goes out of the scene when he goes inside the Gas station, as he does, we see the Capulet get out of their car, and they enter in a spaghetti western style way, cowboy music playing, car engine sound effect and the Clint Eastwood style where a Capulet squash’s a cigarette with his spur. Both the families do not notice each other. The Montague’s tease some Nuns in a van. As the van pulls away the Capulet’s are shown behind it. The Montague’s carry on teasing; not knowing that the van has gone and they are now teasing the Capulet’s. When they notice the Capulet’s they become all tense and scared. There is two Capulet’s at this moment.
One of them is called Abra; Abra has been shortened from the original text version name Abraham who was a Montague in both the text and Zeffirelli’s version. Luhrmann has shortened it so the name sounds cooler for the Capulet house. The two Montague’s not named, panic and speak scared; one says “Quarrel, I will back thee. ” The Capulet’s show their guns as well; when they do so Luhrmann shows the badges of the two households. They act like gangsters with both families showing their weaponry and one of the Capulet’s shows their brace which says ‘sin’, one of the Montague’s is terrified, and jumps when he sees his brace.
The Capulet’s begin to drive off laughing about how they scared the Montague. But as they begin to go out of the gas station one of the Montague’s bites his thumb at them to insult them, just like the text and Zeffirelli’s version of the play. The Capulet’s become angry, Abra makes the car engine roar so that he can show to the Montague’s that they are angry. The Montague’s start filling up their car with petrol quick and start panicking trying to drive off quickly. The Capulet’s on the other hand drive out of the gas station stopping and then walking back to the Montague’s. The people around the gas station panic.
The two families start bantering, using the correct text but some minor additions. The Montague’s say their lines in a sense of panic, and Abra says his lines like an army officer would do in a boot camp he is not panicking but is very threatening. The mood at this point is threatening. When Abra shouts “No better. ” He says it in a threatening way that if the Montague’s reply to this a fight will begin. The Montague’s panic and know that they will lose the fight, until they see Benvolio enter from the toilet gives them more confidence so they reply to the Capulet’s “Yes better.
” The tension is extremely high at this point because the fight is about to break out. Abra says his line “Draw if you be men. ” And the fight begins with the people around panicking. After about a few seconds before any fighting takes place Benvolio enters and stops it by aiming his gun at the two Capulet’s. The camera shows a close up of Benvolio’s gun which says sword. Luhrmann names a gun, a sword to keep with Shakespeare language. The tension becomes high and everyone is quiet waiting for the next move. The camera shows the reaction of all the characters in this scene up to now.
Effects are put in such as the wind whistling and the sound of the sign blowing, both Clint Eastwood effects. Then we see Tybalt light a cigarette, dropping it and then squashing it with his spurs, another Clint Eastwood effect. He makes discreet entrance. Tybalt is calm, he turns to Benvolio. The camera shows a close up of Tybalt’s expression he has an evil, sinister and aggressive expression. The camera shows the expression on Benvolio who is now trembling. The mood is threatening now. Tybalt says his lines which are correct to the text but he misses out “What drawn and talk of peace.
” And after he says “Turn thee Benvolio, and look upon thy death. ” Tybalt shows his guns and his vest with the picture of Jesus. After Tybalt says “Peace, peace, I hate the word…. ” We hear a boy shouting from behind Tybalt, Tybalt turns and points his gun at him then the fight starts. We see him then quickly turn and shoot Benvolio’s gun knocking Benvolio to the ground. We see shootings between the Capulet’s and Montague’s. The fight is like a bull fight for example people diving behind cars with guns in their hands another Clint Eastwood technique, bullets hitting the sign making it blow and Tybalt flicking his gun in the air.
While the fight is happening we hear music which resembles the Magnificent seven which is fast, like a western theme tune. During the fight, Tybalt kisses his gun, like it is a religious thing for him before shooting one of the Montague’s as they escape leaving Benvolio behind. The Capulet’s do the same, they escape leaving Tybalt behind before the police arrive. Petrol leaks every where around the gas station from the Montague’ leaving the hose out. Benvolio runs away jumping over cars in the road and shooting back at Tybalt, we hear the noise of car horns going off.
Tybalt drops his cigarette on to the petrol and runs after Benvolio. The gas station sets on fire, the camera shows posters burning about the two families, this and the gas station on fire represents the consequences of the two families actions we hear the dramatic music which was played during the introduction. The camera now shows the view of the city where the two families business offices are. We see police helicopters moving in resembling a Vietnam War film where soldiers are being transported by helicopter into the war. We see the reaction of old Montague when he hears the news of the fight on the TV.
We see views of the city which is now in chaos people running and riot police moving in. We see the old Capulet and Lady Capulet in their car, Old Capulet says “Give me my long sword ho. ” This is correct to the text but it misses out the first three words from the line in the text. Lady Capulet replies with “Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe” Which is also correct but is actually said by Lady Montague in the text. In this film version she successfully prevents him from joining the fight. We now rejoin the fight between Tybalt and Benvolio who are both threatening each other with their guns and snarling at each other.
But the prince, who is called ‘Captain Prince’ to make it more modern, is in a helicopter above them with other police aiming guns at them. He shouts through a microphone twice “Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground. ” Both Benvolio and Tybalt drop their weapons. The tension is high at this point we see wind blowing their shirts and hair. The scene now jumps later on, to in side the police station were the prince continues his speech in front of Old Montague and Capulet, Tybalt and Benvolio, he says “Three civil brawls… ” The speech is correct to the text and we see the reactions of both heads of the houses.