Look at Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli's film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet.

Essay by amydocherty87A-, January 2004

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Having watched two different film adaptations of 'Romeo and Juliet', it is clear to see that the two directors have used a number of different techniques, quite differently at times, to put across their particular interpretations of the play. These methods and different interpretations are very obvious if one studies the same scene as portrayed in each film. We looked at Franco Zeffirelli's 1970's version of the play and Baz Luhrmann's recent adaptation produced in 1996 and focused on their interpretation of the scene where Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time.

The first thing I noticed is that costume is very important in Zeffirelli's scene. Juliet, played by Olivia Hussey, is wearing a traditional styled red and gold dress, which highlights wealth. It is not as detailed as most at the party which points to the fact that it is not just material wealth she has but also the huge amount of natural beauty she has.

The bright red contrasts with her pale complexion and jet-black hair to make her look very striking. Romeo's outfit is also very noticeable as he is wearing a mask. It adds to the air of mystery around him as Juliet meets him for the first time. It also helps to make a point about the nature of their attraction: when she first sees him, Juliet sees only Romeo's eyes, yet is still drawn to him. Therefore, here there is something more than physical attraction. Instead, it seems to be a communion of souls since eyes are often considered to be the windows to this part of ourselves.

The choreography of the scene also reveals something about Romeo's feelings towards Juliet. His attention is fixed upon a lady - which we assume to be Rosaline - who is dancing and then twirls...