This reimagining of Much Ado About Nothing is elegantly classic but accessible—without ignoring the original language that stays intact. Whedon creates an alluring illusion of lo-fi cinema with what comes with his big idea; such a great score to clean the grand palette of his exuberant Avengers assemble.
“I do love nothing in the world so well as you.”
Back to back from the production of the highest grossing superhero movie ever, The Avengers, director Joss Whedon returns his sight to what really inspires him and perpetuates his own tradition. Concealing a 12-day filming of a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic-comedy in his lavish property in sunny California, he finally presents his version of Much Ado About Nothing. A romantic one. A complacent one.
Intrepidly, Whedon takes a sharp turn-back—surprisingly leaving all his exuberant Avengers trinkets behind only to simplify everything. Everything is set to create an alluring illusion of lo-fi cinema with monochromatic cinematography and jazzy scorings, only to blurs the perfect set-up that Whedon loves. The rest of his glorified set-ups are just too elegant—replacing all the tunic with modern cloak and modernizing everything to a Santa Monica settlement, but left the dialogues intact, like in Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet (1996).
However, the structured classic misunderstanding that stuffs the plot is a right cue to be followed. With Whedon, the fuss between Bea (Amy Acker, from TV Series Angel) and Bene (Alexis Denisof, also from Angel) in fixing the crumbling nuptial of young Hero (Jillian Morgese) and Claudio (Fran Kanz) is accessible. In the end, Bea and Bene’s love-hate relationship proves that Shakespearean drama is timeless; when the film ends with smile, I suddenly realized that even the man behind The Avengers can drive Shakespeare’s tragic-comedy with no fuss.
Blame nothing if you don’t like this opus because the source material is perpetual. Yet, if Much Ado About Nothing doesn’t sting your nerve with merriment, you might be like Benedick—you’re either plastered by his false loathing toward Beatrice, or lost somewhere in lingo translation.
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Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
Drama, Comedy Running Time: 109 mins Written and Directed by: Joss whedon based on play by William Shakespeare Starred by: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kanz, Sean Maher, Jillian Morgese, Clark Gregg