Much Ado About Nothing
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Much Ado About Nothing
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Young lovers Hero and Claudio are to be married in one week. To pass the time, they conspire with Don Pedro to set a "lover's trap" for Benedick, an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice, his favorite sparring partner. Meanwhile, the evil Don Jon conspires to break up the wedding by accusing Hero of infidelity. In the end, though, it all turns out to be "much ado about nothing".
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November 17, 2018 at 05:01 AM
Shakespeare at his most exhilarating
Be honest: does the idea of a Shakespearean joke make your heart sink a little? Do you think of obscure, lowbrow Elizabethan humour that MAYBE someone was kind enough to explain in a footnote?
Certainly the comedies are harder to stage, but when they're well done ... One of the most exhilarating things about Shakespeare is the certain knowledge that no character will ever express himself poorly. Well, characters like Dogberry do, in a sort of a way, but that's deliberately done for comic effect and doesn't count. No character is ever thwarted by a lack of expressive power. Whenever Benedick must plead his case, you know that he will summon up all the eloquence he needs; and whenever Beatrice insults anyone, you know that she will summon up all the venom and wit SHE needs. In some ways it's easier to appreciate this in a comedy when the plot is, reduced to its essence, much ado about nothing.
No film director working today can approach Branagh when it comes to presenting Shakespeare cleanly and clearly, in a way that lets us participate in this verbal delight. This particular film is actually funny, as well as verbally delightful. It's also visually delightful - it has an attractive cast (Kate Beckinsale plays one of Shakespeare's ciphers but makes us understand why people fell in love with her), a sunny Tuscan landscape and a long tracking shot at the end that has to be seen to be believed. Performances are all good (other comments here have convinced me that even Keanu Reeves fits into his role). Comedy or not, this is the best Shakespeare film in years and is a candidate for being the best of all time.
I am quite confused about the reviews
Personally I loved the movie, from the opening credits to the last brilliant tracking shot. What I do not understand is the dissing of Keanu Reeves' performance. I can just imagine Ken sitting around his kitchen table with his casting director saying "okay we have this brilliant ensemble cast, the movie is going to be great, what can we do to completely screw it up? I know let's cast Keanu Reeves as Don John and completely snarl up the whole thing" Personally I think Keanu made a great villain, and I trust Ken's ability in casting to choose the perfect actor for the part. I do not think that in reality that Ken would cast someone so hopelessly inept as others have posted in a part that is so essential to the plot. (and don't give me the star power excuse cause they already had Denzel Washington)..., I have always said that Shakespere done right is brilliant.. (done poorly it is pathetic) and this is Shakespere done right in the purest sense of the term. To listen to Ken and Em deliver Shakespere's lines is to listen to them as they would have been spoken and acted when they were written. It is a revelation and pure joy.
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Stunning and witty--Shakespeare at his best
Kenneth Branagh has done so much for Shakespeare...I've almost become a complete zealot of his work. This screen adaptation of one of Shakespeare's lesser-known comedies is absolutely divine. The lovers Claudio and Hero are completely and wonderfully upstaged by Benedick and Beatrice, the most perfectly mismatched pair in the history of love, exactly as they were meant to be. The chemistry between Ken and Emma is so believable (after all, this was filmed before their marriage ended), the lines are so cunningly delivered, and the plot is so beautifully twisted and resolved that this movie is at the very top of my list of favorites. The setting is absolutely gorgeous--Italy in all its Summer glory. You can fairly taste the sunshine. Each part is completely delightful (Michael Keaton is perfect in one of the most bizarrely comedic roles I've ever seen, and as far as Keanu Reeves' performance, all I can say is that the part was written to be played in that manner. Don John was a bad guy of necessity--every comedy must have a foil). I found the entire production to be beautifully done and quite up to the professional standards that I've come to expect under Branagh's excellent direction. The wit sparkles and cracks between Beatrice and Benedick; a direct counter to the more traditional and borderline sappy form of Elizabethan love exhibited between Hero and Claudio. *This* is how the wise woo, and no, it is never peaceably! A smart, funny and visually stunning gem of a film to add to Branagh's already distinguished repertoire. I'm waiting for his MacBeth.