One of Shakespeare's classic comedies is given a fun, lighthearted, and contemporary makeover by cult icon Joss Whedon in his film Much Ado About Nothing. Shot in just twelve days and using the original text, Whedon is able to accurately depict the humorous story of love, delicately integrating modern themes while maintaining Shakespeare's original tone.
Using a wide array of actors (many of whom he had previously worked alongside), Whedon is successful in crafting a film that pays homage to its roots without getting lost in the shuffle. The film is evenly paced and well thought out, and while the ending is expected (as it is with nearly every Shakespeare piece), you can't help but marvel at the beauty of it all.
I will admit that the original dialogue does burden the mind a bit, especially during the longwinded scenes that are all too prevalent during Shakespeare's time. But Whedon handles the situation well, often times turning to situational comedy as his actors progress the story, making it both simple and enriching without overdoing either quality.
I was immensely impressed with the poise and delivery of the harsh and uncommon dialogue. The actors never appeared to strain over the words, reciting them with fluid perfection as if they were truly thinking in such phrases. The elegance of the entire situation allows you to forget your own surroundings and heed to the film's central story, connecting with each of the characters as two different couples, with entirely different perspectives on life and love, fight their way to the altar.
The credits comes just in time as Whedon's experiment, though brilliant in many ways, was quickly running out of steam. Granted, the director's loyal following will find the film not a shade below brilliant, but it should be noted that Much Ado About Nothing is not a film for everyone. It features an old-fashioned story and awkward dialogue. Yes, it is more relevant given its modern look and the mere fact that an iPod is featured during one scene, but it takes a special viewer to appreciate what has been done here -- it is quite the accomplishment.