romeo and juliet

09 March 2012

I was never prompted to read the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, hearing of tragedy is always too hard for me to bear. Nonetheless, we have started to read it in class.

The problem with reading things in class: it ruins a good story. The teachers dissecting and explaining, the students reading aloud in dull, halting speech and the book going too fast to soak in. I am to get my copy of the book soon, to write in and read by the end of the weekend, so when we resume reading on Monday, I will not be tarnished.

See, because when I first read something, feelings and images of that first reading stay with me, so no matter how many versions or retellings of the book, I will always think of the first. I didn't want that to be spoiled, so I hastened to watch the 1968 Romeo and Juliet directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

I just finished it and it is....the most beautifully tragic film I have ever seen!

The actors are so passionate, Juliet and Romeo so perfectly cast and emotional...they're rendering so tearful, heart-wrenching and brilliant. Olivia Hussey (who played Juliet) was only fifteen, and Leonard Whiting at seventeen. There's a nude scene (soo beautiful all of the moviee!) so it went from G to PG, haha. 1960's for you.

If you have not read or seen Romeo and Juliet, YOU MUST SEE THIS VERSION! Leonardo DiCaprio is not the Romeo I see (it's the OTHER Leonardo)

Compare the two:

In the 1968 version, they stuck true to every aspect of the original play and cast the actors at the age Romeo and Juliet were in the original play as well, ages fifteen and seventeen. The Juliet in the 1996 version was around seventeen (old for Juliet, who was no more than fourteen or fifteen) and Romeo (DiCaprio) was twenty two. Tsk tsk tsk.

This version is far  better than the modern hip one. Honestly, it's simple and sweet and beautifully done! You must watch it!

ALSO lets compared Juliets.

Claire was too old to fit the young innocence that Olivia had. ANYWAY! It's a beautiful movie that I love so much. The brilliant Shakespeare is to thank, of course, for the amazing script and the emotional and passionate actors in the Zeffirelli version. Lovely. Absolutely great!

1 thoughts:

  1. I know that in many classes they seriously ruin Shakespeare for people, but somehow when I learned it it was the best experience I ever had. The speech came fairly easy to my class, and my teacher was absolutely brilliant in the way he taught it. Our demonstrations were fun, but most of all, not only did we get the main ideas of the story, we got the subtleties of the language, and that is what makes Shakespeare beautiful. All the puns, and perverse context of the passages, it is what makes Shakespeare such an amazing writer in my mind. The language gets a little difficult. But it is truly well written and amazing. I'm glad you didn't write off Romeo and Juliet right away, but personally its not my favorite. The characters and whole idea are ridiculously angst-y, but for a story like that, it is masterfully written and not at all dull, and for that I give him respect.


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