Much ado about nothing
Much Ado About Nothing, A tantalising Shakespearian play now acclaimed
movie, due to the fabulous return to directing of Kenneth Branagh. This is
only Branagh’s second directing production but due to the successes of
Henry V, he has deservingly become known as a great director.
The sweeping countryside of Sicily is the home to Kenneth Branagh’s
dazzling new romantic comedy, Much ado about nothing. Upon returning from a
victorious battle the all-star cast of Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), Don
John (Keanu Reeves) the evil half-brother of Don Pedro, Benedict (Kenneth
Branagh) and Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) all stay at the monstrously huge
home of Leonarto (Richard Briers). As the movie begins to unfold so do two
love stories that untangles the promenade theme of deception. One of the
love stories is ‘deathly’ serious and complicated where the other being
most unlikely and very humorous.
The enchanting voice of Beatrice (Emma Thompson) gaily floods the picture
perfect scenery of the Much Ado About Nothing opening. The stunning
beginning really tells you not to leave your seat, even for popcorn! From
the opening scene it is evident that the cast enjoying a light-hearted
picnic lunch are rather wealthy. The grand costuming, tremendous
English-style gardens, fancy-dress masks and the wealthy aristocrats with
too much time on their hands begin to deceive one-another at most
The deception begins at the masked- ball celebrating the safe return of the
soldiers. The costuming for the ball is extravagant and mysterious with the
people hiding behind their masks. The ball is a great success for Claudio
and Hero (Kate Beckinsdale), for after the wooing of Hero by Don Pedro on
Claudio’s behalf the two young lovers are finally together. The wit of
Beatrice and Benedict meet at the ball also where Beatrice describes to a
soldier (Benedict wearing his mask) that he is no more than Pedro’s jester
a common fool.
The quick-tongued Beatrice and Benedict are both easily deceived into
believing that the two have feelings for one-another. All it takes to
deceive the two is a little ‘accidental’ overhearing, organised by the
other cast members.
The lighting dims as Don John moves into the picture to address Leonarto.
>From the moment that Don John replies in a hushed, villainous voice it is
fitting and obvious that he is evil. Keanu Reeves’s role is extremely
convincing as he portrays the sixteenth centaury villain. Much ado about
nothing would not be complete without this outstanding performance.
The Happy ending unlike some other Shakespearian tales (Romeo and Juliet)
gives the viewer a sense of justice and happiness. With the happy ending
very appropriate in this story it really contributes to the final
masterpiece. A sadder ending would not be appropriate in this light-hearted
The brilliant directing by Kenneth Branagh is shown in this Epic tale of
deception in the way that William Shakespear would have wanted it. I rate
Much Ado About Nothing Four and a half stars.
Shakespeare, William: Much Ado About Nothing Compare Movie and Book