Saturday, 25 January 2014

Much Ado About Nothing: DVD Review

Much Ado About Nothing: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Madman Home Ent

Joss Whedon's latest, Much Ado About Nothing sees a gathering of the Whedonverse alumni in a take on Shakespeare's play which has lost none of the subtlety and fizz of the Bard's work.

Keeping the actual text in place, and tweaking only some of the minor details, it still focuses on the quarreling relationship of Benedick and Beatrice (played by Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker) and the relationship of Claudio and Hero amid modern times. Set on a sumptuous estate (Whedon's own) this black and white adaptation is a virtuoso of subtlety and wit. The dialogues between the characters shine with nuances and revel in the language, frolicking in the back and forth of Benedick and Beatrice as well as Nathan Fillion's constable. But there's also some silly visual humour such as when Benedick finds his three friends discussing how Beatrice has fallen for him - those moments of comic capery will delight audiences.

Acker and Denisof are perfectly cast, balancing the moments of lightness and tomfoolery with the seriousness needed by Shakespeare's text; other players circle around them but to be honest, they barely register as highly as this duo. With perhaps the exception of Nathan Fillion.

A Shakespeare to be watched and enjoyed, Much Ado About Nothing is a zesty treat which feels fresh and sparkling.


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