27 Aug 2013

Much to do about nothing

To make up for the anticipated sheer horror of  Sharknado  I agreed to take my girl to Joss Whedons contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's Much to do about Nothing.  Small films like this do not last overly long at the cinemas and my girl had wanted to see this for ages.


Don Pedro(Reed Diamond), arrives to spend time and celebrate with his friend and ally  Leonato (Clark Gregg) after defeating his brother Don John (Sean Maher). While there Claudio (Fran Kanz) intends to pursue Leonato's daughter Hero (Jilllian Morgese).  Don Pedro offers to help the shy Claudio by wooing Hero at the masquerade party that Leonato is holding in Don Pedro's honour. 

Meanwhile Don John, who has been taken prisoner along with his lover Conrade(Riki Lindhome)and his henchman Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark), discover Claudio and Don Pedros plan and are determined to interfere and create as much discord as they can.

But while this is going on the real focus is on Beatrice (Amy Acker), Leonato's neice and Benedick (Alexis Denisof), a henchman of Don Pedro's constant bickering and repartee. This has its basis in a failed affair set before the story.  While Don Pedro and Leonato are happy for Claudio and Hero to be wed, they decide that Beatrice and Benedick should also wed, and concoct a plan to bring these two enemies together.

Ensue Shakesperian hijinx!

While you may think  "well you can't go wrong with Shakespeare right?" you would be wrong. Having seen Romeo and Juliet the musical, I know you really can.  But this film does the bard proud. Simply but cleverly shot in Joss Whedon's own home, he  manages to combine a good ensemble cast of friends to present an excellent adaptation. This play is a comedy, and the script and direction is a nice balance of slapstick and wit. A little of the former and a lot of the latter.

While the cast is made of "the friends of Whedon club" of actors, that should not put you off. Clark Gregg, Sean Maher and frequet favorite Nathan Fillion are excellent in their respective roles. The scenes with Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof are hilarious and also poignent. Whedon may be casting his friends, but he is also making the right choices. 

Tom Lenk and Nathan Fillion as Verges and Dogberry
If you like Shakespeare you will enjoy this film. If you are a fan of Whedon, you should see this film. It is a clever little project that he snuck into his schedule somehow. I hope he does Macbeth. 

7 Monkeys from me.

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