1968 vs. 2013: The Romeo and Juliet Movie Battle Royale

RJ Cover

Wait, they made movies of Romeo and Juliet, the play? Multiple movies? Even one with Leonardo DiCaprio? There’s one that was made in Bollywood, India too?

Yes indeed.

Though there are many films of Romeo and Juliet to pick and choose, I’ll specifically be comparing the differences and similarities between the 1968 film and the 2013 adaptation, focusing on wardrobe, lighting, and use of music throughout each film.

So without further ado, let’s begin!


The wardrobes for each film is dramatically different

Wardrobe, as many things, really effects the overall mood/tone of the play. In the 1968 version, they use very “loud” and colourful clothing that really captures the fanciness and theatrical flair of Romeo and Juliet. The 2013 adaptation also holds this colourful wardrobe, but is much less loud in comparison. Here are some images of Juliet’s costume to compare.



The 1968 has very bright and attracting colours. Somewhat over dramatized like most wardrobes in other plays.


The 2013 uses colours that “pop” less; not so much an eyesore.[2]

It’s evident to see by first glance how both movies are similar in their style of clothing. While the 1968 version had bright colours, big dresses, and a use of silly hats, the characters looked similar to human chess pieces. On the other hand 2013 takes a more subtle route, having an overall similar look though much more toned down.


Wardrobe isn’t the only thing to consider, the use of lighting differs greatly between films

Both films differ in lighting, and similar to wardrobe greatly effect the mood of the play.


In the earlier 1968 version the lighting is less serious and more stage-like.[3]

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The 2013 uses dark lighting and is much more serious.[4]

Indeed, the 1968 version offers a very “vintage” kind of lighting which works greatly to set the mood in the film. The 2013 on the other hand, offers very sleek and dramatic lighting.


Finally, the use of music is something to consider

Like pictures, music can say a thousand words. So the question must be begged, what is the music in each film saying?

To me, the 1968 adaption describes and older kind of drama, and orchestral and loud one. Again, very theatrical. The 2013 in comparison not using music really added a serious mood to certain parts of the film. These clips from of the kissing scenes really displays this contrast.

Like I said, loud theatrical drama from the 1968 clip and serious, emotional drama from the 2013 clip.

As you can see, the wardrobe, lighting, and use of music all have their lasting impact of each other films, giving similarities and differences between each, with their own lasting flavour. While the 1968 adaptation of the play offers and older, more classical and theatrical feeling it delivers its own way to interpret Romeo and Juliet’s love. Of course the 2013 offers the same intimate relationship its delivers a much more serious and dramatic feel. Both have their pros and cons, and both are fine films, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide what film rises out on top.



[1] Juliet 1968 Dress. 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.

[2] Juliet 2013 Dress. 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.

[3] 1968 Lighting. 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.

[4] 2013 Lighting. 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.

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