Critical Review of Much Ado About Nothing

In: English and Literature

Submitted By thodges
Words 1021
Pages 5
The adaptation of Much Ado was Branagh’s second attempt at turning a Shakespearian classic into a box office phenomenon. Brannagh first adapted a Shakespearian play in 1989 with Henry V. “Branagh's "Henry V" emerges from the darkness with the rip and sputter of a struck match. It's a magnificent beginning and a startling metaphor -- an inspired equivalent for Shakespeare's "muse of fire" -- and the first stroke of brilliance in this audacious, resonant, passionate film”
… Well that’s what Hal Hinson of the Washington Post thought anyway. Some might say that Brannagh therefore had a lot to live up to with Much Ado, his second Shakespeare adaptation. Do I think the film lived up to the expectations? Well I guess that depends upon your motives for watching, for fun? Or like me in an attempt to understand the complicating language and humour found within Much Ado, if the latter sigh no more students, Branagh’s film makes the understanding of Much Ado far easier. If you wanted a nice night in with a film, however, under no circumstance would I recommend this film, plagued with wooden acting, confusing, casting and more over a boring, predictable and somewhat unbelievable plot.
Brannaghh’s decision to cast Denzel Washington as Don Pedro, the heroic, noble fighter is somewhat bewildering, considering traditional audiences’ connotations of a black man; however as a contemporary audience we are able to look beyond the colour of Don Pedro’s skin. I however was unable to look beyond Washington’s poor, unconvincing acting – making him stick out like a sore thumb against the brilliance of Benedick (played by Brannagh himself). Rather contradicting to the refusal to conform to the connotations of the colour black, Brannagh decides to put Don John (Keanu Reeves) and his men in a black uniform, rather than the blue of the others. This use of colour connotation would…...

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