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
In a May 2013 interview, Joss Whedon noted that aside from abridging the text, he stayed completely true to Shakespeare's original dialogue - except for the Act 2, Scene 3 line in which Benedick says "if I do not / love her, I am a Jew." It was changed to "if I do not love her, I am a fool." See more »
I was lucky enough to see Much Ado at the UK premier last weekend, and I'm very glad I got the chance. I've been a big fan of Joss Whedon's work for a long time. However my knowledge of Shakespeare is very little, so I read the play first, which really helped me understand the text and the time period and appreciate some of the humour. I would highly recommend any Whedon fan who isn't familiar with Shakespeare to read the play before you see the film.
Much Ado struck me as a lovely little independent film. It's a delight for fans of Joss, as we get to see many fan favourite actors clearly having a great time. Alexis and Amy both shine, and Nathan was hilarious and great, despite this being his first time doing Shakespeare. The acting from the entire ensemble is consistently engaging, and most importantly, the film is funny throughout. Filmed entirely at Joss's house, which is a beautiful location and made all the better in glorious black and white. This and the understated music really add an interesting atmosphere to the film. After all, it is a 500 year old play put in a modern day setting, so it's kind of other-worldly. As for what this interpretation adds to the much loved play, certainly there are some subtleties of the characters and their lives which Joss has expanded on.
This film is the first to be released through Joss's independent production company Bellwether Pictures, and it bodes very well for the future of Joss's independent film work.
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