MOVIE ADAPTATION OF ROMEO and JULIET

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence (Friedrich Nietzsche).

Probably that quotes above could describe how love which is categorized as abstract thing can take over the non-abstract thing. Love is the feeling inside human that appears due to the stimulus from other things. This kind of feeling happens only on mankind not in other creatures. Love usually is described as something that is having correlation with beauty with deep meaning behind. Love is considered as well as a universal thing just like arts because it’s having more than one perspectives depends how we look at it such as from religion, social, culture, etc. Starting from this point of view, love mostly is used as the theme for literary works such as in the form of novel, poet, drama no matter it’s categorized as classic or modern ones. Talking about classic literary works, there is a writer whose some of his works are using love as the main theme. He is William Shakespeare. Who does not know William Shakespeare nowadays?

William Shakespeare is an English poet, drama writer. He has written so many literary works and most of them are well known. One of his greatest works is the drama entitled Romeo and Juliet. This drama is talking about the love story of the couple who is coming from two different families, Capulet and Montague. Both of those families hate each others. Knowing if their family will disagree about their love, both Romeo and Juliet try to not make it becomes the wall for their love. Then, their love leads them to the complicated situations which finally made both of them into die to show their love for both families. This tragic drama later is adopting into the modern movie which has the same title.

There are some of the Romeo and Juliet adaptation movies but the writer chooses the Romeo and Juliet movie that was directed by Baz Luhrmann and released on 1 November 1996 under the big Hollywood movie company, Twentieth Century Fox. Baz Romeo and Juliet the movie starred Leonardo de Caprio as Romeo, Claire Danes as Juliet, John Leguizamo as Tybalt, Harold Perrineau as Mercutio, etc. This movie has won several awards and nominated on some awards such as won the BAFTA film award for the Best cinematography, nominated to Oscar for Best art direction, won Alfred Bauer Award (online). This movie is also has the same story like the playwright somehow because of this movie is the adaptation from the William Shakespeare playwright so there are some things presented differently.

Movie adaptation sometimes is so much different from the original story. This is because not all things inside the original story will be added into the movie because it will make the duration of the movie becomes too long and will not give the audience something new. Since William Shakespeare mostly used love to be the main theme on some of his works, Romeo and Juliet main issue presented inside is mostly talking about the love beside others issue. Shakespeare on Romeo and Juliet shows perfectly how the themes of themes of death and violence permeate Romeo and Juliet, and they are always connected to passion, whether that passion is love or hate (online). Shakespeare was successfully in bringing together those factors through the character of Romeo and Juliet. It later inspiring Buz Luhrmann as the director to produce the same titled of Romeo and Juliet but with something different. Buz did not change the real story of the Romeo and Juliet but only adding some new ways of representing of love.

Since the adaptation is using movie as the media, the comparison should see every scenes inside the movie to seek for the difference between the movie adaptation and the original playwright. The analysis will more focus on how Shakespeare and Buz gives their feeling in describing and visualizing the meaning of love by putting it into some symbols. As we know, both of Shakespeare and Buz come from two different eras which each comes from Elizabethan and other from modern era. They will have their own unique in visualizing the love. It is true then there are some differences appear between the original playwright and the movie, for example on the symbol of love.

As we know, love is used as theme of Romeo and Juliet playwright. Shakespeare visualized love as something universal which can be correlated with some of living aspects. Attempts have been made by critics of the latter half of the twentieth century to understand Shakespeare’s representation of love in Romeo and Juliet, especially in its social contexts (online). Representing the love through the social context in Shakespeare’s era is so much different with nowadays. Shakespeare had created many links in representing the love inside Romeo and Juliet. If we take attention carefully, we could see those links.

First, Shakespeare represents the term love inside the name of the main character itself, Romeo. The word “Romeo” is having meaning as the lover in nowadays popular culture (online). We could clearly see both on the original playwright and the movie adaptation how Romeo tries to show his love to Juliet although he knows that his love will never be accepted by both families, Montague and Capulet. It does not stop Romeo to love Juliet although there are several consequences facing him.

Second, Shakespeare also presents the audience about the relationship among love and the violence. Romeo and Juliet does not make a specific moral statement about the relationships between love and society, religion, and family; rather, it portrays the chaos and passion of being in love, combining images of love, violence, death, religion, and family in an impressionistic rush leading to the play’s tragic conclusion. Love as a Cause of Violence (online). It is clearly shown that how the Juliet’s brother Tybalt is trying to separate Juliet from Romeo no matter how the ways he can do after knowing that Romeo tries to come near Juliet. There are several accidents both on the playwright and the movie adaptation show how the violence takes important role in solving the problem about the love between Romeo and Juliet. Society a visualized on the Romeo and Juliet especially on the movie adaptation seems like obey the confrontation among those families because both of them have the important roles in society.

There is also visualization of love by using the imagery which is dark and light imagery. Shakespeare is using this kind of imagery to represent the situations around the Romeo and Juliet such as the situation of society. The using of dark and light imagery generally to provide a sensory contrast and to hint at opposed alternative (online). Sometimes, people have an assumption if the dark always imagery the bad thing and light represents the good thing somehow it does not happen in Romeo and Juliet. Both of those imageries represent something about the love.

Meanwhile, there are some things which are considered having some meaning. Shakespeare seems like is capable to use some symbols which have some meaning with something. There is a symbol of love which is represented by the poison. Poison symbolizes human society’s tendency to poison good things and make them fatal, just as the pointless Capulet-Montague feud turns Romeo and Juliet’s love to poison (online). It means that by drinking the poison, both Romeo and Juliet can change everything include the ending of Capulet and Montague confrontation.

As we know, movie is the best way to emphasize the imagination of the viewers about the story that they love. Some movies in the modern era are using some written novel or playwright as the source. Somehow, not all things inside the novel or playwright will be added into the movie. There will be some differences found when we are seeing movie that is adapted from the written text. This is also happens in the movie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. If we take a close attention, there are some difference lay between them.

The first difference is the way of Both Shakespeare and the director, Buz Luhrmann in representing the love. As we see, both of them are living on the different era and they have their own ways of love representation. Shakespeare will tend to use the sonnet to represent the feeling of love. It is shown at the first time when Romeo meets Juliet. It is because poetic words are the famous way to present love at Elizabethan era. A sonnet’s expression of the lyrical “I” allows Shakespeare to break the limits of dramatic performance and to involve his audience emotionally as if they were recipients to a poem (online). It means that Shakespeare wants to show to audience about two things that are all forms of social order break down and Romeo and Juliet is the centre of the universe. While in movie adaptation, the director tends to use the conversation rather than using poetic words. It is because nowadays people do not like something complicated. They prefer something which has meaning clearly. The language that Romeo and Juliet use when they meet for the first time is indicating about the confrontation of their family. The “ancient grudge” is one of many conditions and incidents, which together can be, considered an influence counter-acting the relationship between Romeo and Juliet (online).

The second difference is the tools using inside. In the playwright, most of the tools is still using traditional like the using of horse to be the transportation vehicle. While in the movie adaptation, the director will like to use the modern tools such as the using cars as the transportation vehicle, guns, and etc.

The third difference is the setting. The original Romeo and Juliet takes place in Verona which is visualized as the place which the building around is castle shape. Somehow, the movie adaptation is takes place in the same place, Verona, but with more western American city style. This difference influences a lot of the modern adaptations in Luhrmanns work (online).

The fourth difference is the style of clothes. In the playwright, the clothes style is using the Elizabethan era clothes style. It refers to the Shakespeare life where this playwright is written. Baz Luhrnmann gives something new about the style of clothes. Using the setting about modern western American city style, the clothes is also follows the westernization. The clothing style has been changed to a more western culture with more of an urban beach design for most characters in the film (online). There are no people inside the movie wear the clothes as like as the playwright.

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