Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet

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The astounding perils of young love has been eloquently captured in the story of Romeo and Juliet. Franco Zefferelli and Baz Luhrmann are the creators of the two most renowned film adaptations of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Zefferelli, the more traditional director, created his Oscar winning version in 1968. Baz Luhrmann put an abstract, modern twist on Shakespeare's classic and created the 1996 version that raised millions of dollars in box office sales. Being that these two films are so different, I have chosen to compare them to one another, using the famed balcony scene as my focus.

In the Franco Zefferelli adaptation, proceeding the extravagant Capulet party, Romeo walks down a dark stone path alone with his very
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She vocalizes her love and adoration for Romeo, not knowing that every word she speaks falls upon his ears. Unable to contain his elation about what he has just heard, Romeo leaps from the darkness below the balcony, abruptly startling Juliet. She retreats towards the doorway of her room, feeling violated and unsure about Romeo's presence. She appears angry because of their families' hatred towards eachother. The interaction between them is forbidden, so she turns towards the her room, ready to leave, until she is halted by Romeo's confession. If given the opportunity, he would choose to deny the Montague name so that he may share his life with her. Surprised, Juliet returns to where Romeo awaits her.

During this scene, the soft light continually falls upon Juliet's angelic face, yet Romeo predominantly remains in the darkness, shadowed. This may reference the goodness of the Capulets and the supposed evilness of the Montagues from Juliet's standpoint. The camera is also pointed up during this scene when directed towards Juliet, yet pointed down when directed towards Romeo. Zefferelli may have used these camera angles to show that Juliet is considered someone Romeo admires although he is considered a lesser man by the Capulet family.

As the scene continues, Juliet explains to Romeo the consequences of them being caught together, and as she sadly and amorously gazes at him, he hides behind a tree branch to protect himself. Juliet moves to a dark
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