I was looking through your blog (that totally didn't sound creepy ^^;) and I just can't stop looking at the photos of the 2016 Kenneth Branaugh production of Romeo and Juliet on the balcony and Romeo's death just before Juliet awoke. As a Shakespeare nerd with a photographic eye, I can't get over how perfect the juxtaposition is ❤❤❤❤❤
Nope, it’s not creepy! It makes me so happy that you looked through my blog. Thank you!
The fact that the death scene echoed the balcony scene is indeed such a sad and beautiful contrast (and that’s, like, my favorite combination). Here are the pictures for those who have not seen them!
I loved the cinematography and the whole feeling of Branagh’s production: Friar Lawrence’s and Peter’s singing, the falling of curtains after Juliet drank her potion, the slow motion of her funeral (and its juxtaposition with the moment when Romeo looked up at the sky and yelled, ‘then I defy you, stars!’). Besides, I thought the black and white filter contributed greatly to the distress of the tragedy.
I especially loved the prologue. You could discern all the characters of the play crying in anguish, all wearing black. Then, when the chorus mentioned the ‘pair of star-crossed lovers’, Romeo and Juliet came on stage wearing white. Visually it was very impressive, and I found the whole production to be very aesthetically pleasing (the music was also fascinating and heartbreaking). Add this to the wonderful acting and reading of the play, and you have a marvelous production! Lily James and Richard Madden are now my favorite Juliet and Romeo after Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. I talked about the production more exhaustively here.