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 boisterous friends trailing closely behind him. They sound drunken and unruly so Romeo seeks refuge from them by climbing rocks into a nearby forest. He pauses in the darkness to listen to his confidants joke about how fantastic a lover Romeo is, and he smiles in amusement at the contents of their commotion. Traveling deeper into the foliage, Romeo sees the light pouring from Juliet's window and continues towards it in curiosity. He walks slowly in the darkness until he clearly sees the illuminated palace in which Juliet resides, finding his love leaning on the balcony wall. Juliet wear a white gown which makes her appear very angelic and virginal. Her hair is soft, her eyes sparkle, and her innocence is undeniable. Romeo moves slowly and quietly through the bushes trying to get a better look at her, and, doubting his presence there at that time, he pauses and leans his head against a tree, trying to remain anonymous.
Juliet rests her cheek in her hand as the moon shines down on her young face and she seems isolated. The house behind her appears dark and cold, which represents her relationship with her parents. 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...