INTRODUCTION. So. I may have missed Much Ado About Nothing in its UK release but as we all know, it is never too late for Shakespeare. If you like the good bard’s comedies – or appreciate an engaging love story – look no further than Whedon’s take on this witty tale.
CHARACTERS. Beatrice and Benedict. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Fans of Buffy and/or Angel may well have squealed in delight throughout the entire film, watching Denisof and Acker finally attain the pinnacle of their much beloved onscreen chemistry. I do believe that the personalities are portrayed in fresh and relatable lights, regardless of whether audiences are acquainted to the cult television series. The film and its actors have done what the RSC is so good at: contemporarily interpreting classics without losing character depth. They are very likeable, interesting personalities- perhaps even too likeable (the villain, I felt, was not so villainous). But I’m not complaining.
STORY. One of my favourite things about the movie is that it doesn’t feel the need to explain itself. There is no overt attempt to explain how talk of wars and death have been integrated into a modern setting, everything simply happens and details fall into place with near-natural grace. Another great feature, to which we can only credit Shakespeare, is the love plot. It unfolds not as a central theme but as a happenstance romance in the midst of another, less magnetic relationship. I’m quite charmed. This is a great story: a laugh-out-loud, grinning comedy that also manages to harness a sprinkling of earnest scenes flooded with genuine gravity.
“I cannot be a man with wishing,” cries Beatrice, “Therefore I will die a woman with grieving.” Amy Acker is no Thompson but the entire scene emanates with great feeling, frustration. Whedon has reappropriated this line and this film for our times, to the benefit of the entire story.
CONCLUSION. Much Ado About Nothing is excellent fare that applies itself to both romance and comedy without insulting our intelligence. That being said… hardcore Shakespeare fans as well as haters should probably proceed with caution.
CHARACTERS: 8/10 STORY: 7.5/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 8/10 OVERALL: 8/10