Leonato (Clark Gregg), the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John (Sean Maher). Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice (Amy Acker), the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage. In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies Conrade (Riki Lindhome) and Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark), plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins. A series of comic... Written by
This is such a great adaptation. The actors speak their lines with clarity and emotion. The cinematography is great, and the movie is in turns very funny and tragic. A lot will be written about how Hero would never simply die because she was accused of 'not being a virgin', well she didn't. For once when I was watching it I got a sense of what was driving Claudio, his sense of betrayal and hurt. What he did was reprehensible but you could understand that he did have what he thought was good reasons. And for once I got a sense of real threat from Benedict's challenge. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof made a delightful Beatrice and Benedict. You could feel the attraction there and you knew why Don Redro had such an easy time of it convincing his fellow conspirators to get them together.
What really impressed me about this film is how obvious it is that the cast is having a good time. The acting seems to be effortless and it is all spot on, and Clark Gregg/Nathan Fillion/Reed Diamond are hilariously funny. I think this is how Shakespeare should be done, as simply great entertainment. When you have that, you have the complexities laid out before you and like Claudio's anger you can see the reasons for the actions of the characters plainly.
'Much Ado About Nothing' has been very well served by Wheedon and his company of players, such a joy and that can be so rare in films nowadays.
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