Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli, Romeo + Juliet Pages: 4 (1203 words) Published: January 20, 2013
The Legendary Balcony Scene…or Lack There Of

Shakespeare in Love and Film
2 February 2005

The Legendary Balcony Scene…or Lack There Of
Being a virgin viewer of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, I found myself dissatisfied as I began to see the famous balcony scene reveal itself on the courtyard floor. “Where is the barrier, the ‘stony limits’ that separates the lovers from each other?” I inquired. How could the most renowned scene of William Shakespeare’s most popular play be missing? I continued to watch in astonishment as the daring scene developed into a masterpiece. Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli both achieved unique interpretations of William Shakespeare’s script which accomplish the chief goal of displaying the extremely passionate love between Romeo and Juliet. The movies were made twenty-nine years apart and had many specific and not so obvious differences between them including the setting, script, and camera work that are significant to accomplishing the two director’s diverse objectives for the films. The most noticeable difference found between the balcony scenes of the two movies is the different settings. There actually is a balcony in Luhrmann’s version, but it is much smaller and is only used for a brief instant in the scene. Romeo climbs to the top of the balcony in both versions, but in Luhrmann’s film, to his surprise, he finds an ugly nurse instead of the attractive Juliet. This comedic moment is essential for distracting the audience from their predictions. The Capulet mansions are both astounding and enormous but bestow different emotions. The mansion in Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet is very castle-like with towering stone walls surrounded by trees, and a large balcony. This plain and simple appearance is important because the focus of the scene is on the two young lovers and the stony limits that separate them. Luhrmann’s film has a very luxurious and romantic looking set that captures...

Cited: “Imagery in Luhrmann 's Romeo + Juliet.” American Film Institute. 1 Feb. 2005
Marks, Margaret. “Brand New Old Stuff.” 1 Feb. 2005
Romeo and Juliet. Dir. Franco Zeffirelli. Perf. Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting.
Paramount Pictures, 1968.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Dir. Baz Luhrmann. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio
and Claire Danes. Twentieth Century Fox, 1997.
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