Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story: Similarities and Differences


Romantic genre movies nowadays are the most popular movies in public. For example Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous movies and so is West Side Story. They talk about forbidden love of a couple, because their loves are strong, they are secretly in love. Their love stories end tragically. Even though it has same plot, there are still some differences and similarities which can be found in both of two plays. Both similarities and differences can be seen from some aspects such as characters, plot, and setting.
There are some several similarities and differences of the character. The similar characters in West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet may be found by exploring it, Tony and Romeo for example. They have same characterization. Both of them are typically men who are not easy to give up. They do anything to chase their love. Such as Tony, after the ball he chases Maria even though his gang forbid. It is also happened in Romeo's scene. After the party in house of Juliet, Romeo keeps chasing Juliet, even though he has already known that both of them are from different families which have conflict. Those both scenes show the boys are not easy to give up, even though they realize that both of their sides are in conflicts. Not only similarities, the differences also can be found in both movies. Romeo and Tony also have differences, such as the cultural aspects which exist in their lives. In the first part of the movie of Romeo and Juliet shows a building which is very great and of course it is owned by Montague’s. It represents that Romeo comes from a rich family, he does not need to work to fulfill his life’s need. It contrasts with Tony’s life. In the movie, there is a dialogue between Tony and Riff. Tony is busy moving the packages and boxes. He works in Doc’s drug store. This scene is representing that Tony has to work to fulfill his life needs.
The general plots of the movies, West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet, also have both similarities and differences. In the beginning of West Side Story, the both gangs are doing a battle. They are chasing the other gang around the blocks and making a fool of their rivals such as when the Jets writes on the wall “Shark stinks”. It tells us that both of two gangs cannot get along. They cannot be together because of their different point of view. This case also can be found in Romeo and Juliet. The men of both Capulet and Montague are also doing battle. Not only shooting one to another, they also make fool to their rivals such as when Montague boys are shouting to the Capulet’s “A dog of the house of Capulet move me!” It shows us that both families also cannot get along to one and another. Another similarity is the party. The party in West Side Story is a dance party. There are two gangs in this ball, Shark and Jets. Even though they are in the same place, but they cannot assimilate their rivals. When the represents of the gangs, Tony from Jets and Maria from Shark, meet they fall in love for the first time. It shows us that the party is the first place where their love story begins. Romeo and Juliet also presents this scene. There is a party in Capulet’s house. But Romeo and his friends secretly come to the party. They are having fun in the party, until suddenly Romeo meets Juliet. They also fall in love for the first time. It also tells us that the party held in Capulet’s house is the first place where Romeo and Juliet meet. The differences of those movies are the wedding of the main characters. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo marries Juliet secretly in the church. Friar marries them. He stands in the neutral sides and doesn’t stand on both sides. It shows us that what the main characters want is a marriage, even though their families do not accept them. But West Side Story serves another story. Tony and Maria are not married. They only fall in love so deep. Even Doc, quite similar to Friar, only accepts their relationship. In my interpretation, both of Maria and Tony still want their love to be accepted so they could get married.
The similarities and differences of the movies also exist in setting of place. The clearest similarity is the balcony. Both movies have a balcony setting. In West Side Story, for example, there is a place where Tony meets Maria after the ball. It is in Maria’s balcony. This place is a place where Maria and Tony meet for a little chat before Maria’s parents are calling for her. And also in Romeo and Juliet, there is a scene after the party and of course after he meets Juliet in the party. The scene is showing that Romeo climbs up to the balcony of Juliet, perhaps she will come out. From that place, their long meeting starts. It represents that the balcony in both movies is the place where the main characters start their love stories. There is also a main difference in the movies. West Side Story takes place in Manhattan, U.S.A. It can be seen in the very beginning of the movie where the angle of the camera is in the sky of Manhattan. It is a very big city with blocks and huge buildings where the immigrants come to. It is very different with Romeo and Juliet. It takes place in Verona, Italy, which can be seen in the very beginning of the movie where the camera is flying in the sky of Verona. This city has some very beautiful architecture buildings and also a big statue in the middle of the Capulet and Montague sides. 
In conclusion, although there are so much difference and similarity the movies, it still becomes an interesting story to be watch. Both of the differences and similarities are the ways of the actors behave, the way the story runs, and the setting of the places in those movies. This case doesn’t make the watchers disappointed, because perhaps this romantic story always brings a joy to the watches.

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