Movies- Literature Class Essay, Research Paper
Final Paper on Movies
Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story are two very similar movies. Though they are alike in many ways, they are also very different as well. The two movies mirror each other all the way until the fight in West Side Story and until Mercutio dies in Romeo and Juliet. When Tony dies in West Side Story and Maria, acting as a ?Juliet?, the major differences start to show. In Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers both die, in West Side Story, Maria lives.
Instead of fighting between families, as the Montagues and the Capulets, West Side Story brings out the gang activity, Sharks vs. Jets. Some of the characters in West Side Story are the same personality-type as the ones in Romeo and Juliet. These characters: Maria as a Juliet, Tony as Romeo, Bernardo as Tybalt, Anita as the Nurse, etc., have the same attitudes. These are only a few of the similarities. The opening scenes in both movies are similar also. In West Side Story the Sharks harass a man, as the members of his gang show up to his side. They don?t exchange words; they just start singing and dancing. This is when the cops come to break up the two gangs, just like Esclas(?) did in Romeo and Juliet.
There is another time when Riff talks Tony into attending the dance at the gym as Benvolio talks Romeo into attending the ball. At the dance, there appears a young girl, Maria, just as in Romeo and Juliet, the exact ideal when Juliet appears. When Anita is telling Maria that she can?t possibly be in love with Tony; for he is an American, and Lady Capulet and the Nurse speak to Juliet about the differences between the two families. Both girls know that their love is chancing, they still are strong-willed in keeping it. Both girls are also there to marry people they are not in love with. And again, their Ladies tell them that they should just marry who they are told to marry. In West Side Story, Tony and Maria first meet at the dance just as in Romeo and Juliet, where they both first meet at the ball. It is like love at first sight in both stories. The balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet also reflects the fire escape scene in West Side Story. Both men speak to the girls as a part of the sky, the sun, moon, etc. Anita finds out about the love between Tony and Maria, as the Nurse with Romeo and Juliet, yet both are supportive.
The gang activity in West Side Story doesn?t come that close with the gang activity of today. Today, gangs are a lot more violent, there is a harsher way to prove your loyalty whereas today, like having to kill someone or cut off their fingers, etc. In West Side Story, to be in gangs you must just prove your loyalty through your honesty. In gangs today, they surely don?t sing and dance around. The names that the gangs have in West Side Story are not harsh names, either. Today, they are ugly names with harsh meanings. The only similar things with the gangs today and in West Side Story that I have seen is that they stick together, push their publicity, and have certain things about them that they all do together. One example, being the color, number, race, name, etc., that today?s gangs use to distinguish themselves with also is used in West Side Story.
Roxanne and Cyrano de Bergerac also have similar qualities to them. First, the names of Roxanne and C. D Bales, maybe standing for Cyrano de Bergerac and of course both girls are named Roxanne. In both movies, the whole town loves a man, but the man fears that he could never have the love of a woman because he has such a big nose. Both movies strike a universal note because maybe that we all have some type of thing or way about us that we secretly fear people may ridicule. In Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano falls in love with Roxanne, as does Christian. This reflects Bales falling in love with, again, Roxanne just like Chris. In Roxanne, she falls in love with Chris first because of the outer features, but he doesn?t know how to talk to woman. C.D Bales is good with woman and gentle with them, just like in Cyrano, how Roxanne is in love with Christian?s face and Cyrano?s words. There is also a way that Cyrano de Bergerac is like Romeo and Juliet. It relates to the romance part when Romeo and Juliet first kiss, they then get married and Romeo dies. In Roxanne, her and Christian kiss, they get married then Christian dies. In Cyrano de Bergerac, we discover how stupid Christian is, but also admire him because he just wants Roxanne to love him for him, not his words, since they are really Cyrano?s words anyway. This has some similar feelings as in Roxanne.
I liked personally liked both of the older films better. Romeo and Juliet, just because it is a classic, and to me West Side Story is just a poor version of it. I thought that Cyrano de Bergerac was better than Roxanne because it had more meaning. I did like Roxanne because it was more modern, but I guess great movies can never be duplicated.
This report compares Romeo & Juliet vs. West Side Story and Cyrano de Bergerac vs. Roxanne