Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
the directing: Joss Wheedon
the writing: Billy Shakespeare, Joss Wheedon (adaptation)
the acting: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion
Ah, Shakespeare. A man forever in my life, thoroughly adapted across the calendar year, inspiring millions with little understanding. It’s every ad exec’s dream. Then again there is that one adaptation we love to hate for no particular reason other then we need one to hate. Still, the reading and memorizing of Shakespeare throughout my junior high and high school years assured the simple fact, his creative works will never leave my mind.
Between all his directing, producing, and writing of small-time things like The Avengers, Joss Wheedon made the decision of shooting a Shakespeare piece at his own humble abode. Then he decided to use every actor he had ever worked with along his long industrious career. Through all this hubbub Wheedon was able to create an adaptation that answered little questions, but held the audience’s ADD attention spans in check.
Modern settings can be a difficult transition to make when bringing Old English verbiage along. Obviously scene and setting are naturally going to conflict, which I would assume puts much strain on the director to work all the pieces together. How easy do you make it for the audience? Do you trust they will come along or believe the nation’s intelligence has taken a dip over the past couple of years? Sadly it seems, Wheedon believes the latter notion.
My assertion stems from something foreign film viewers like to call “subtitles.” Normally I don’t mind them. More often than not it means I’m watching something of value (I realize that is an astounding generalization). However, I do not approve of being slapped in the face with them. It is an abuse I never thought needed to be stood for. Yet, the subtitles used throughout Much Ado About Nothing are nothing less than a thorn-in-the-side hinderance. Frankly, it is a sad day when subtitling Shakespeare is deemed necessary. A little piece of my Romantic outlook died with this film.
Never have I seen such distances among acting talent as I saw in Much Ado About Nothing. Talk about actors outclassing other actors. It happens a lot throughout the film. Every scene really. We have our main players (pretty much those listed in the acting line above), and then there is everyone else. To be honest, the enormity of these differences where off-putting, distracting to say the least. Nathan Fillion was amazing, no denying that, and Acker held her own amongst all the boys, plus Clark Gregg is always a joy to watch. Too bad they weren’t given much to work with, considering this is a Wheedon picture.
All things considered, I am glad this film did not escape my graces. Simply put, Shakespeare is Shakespeare. Add the great Avengers director to the mix and how could I not? With a minimal budget and strict filming schedule, it would be somewhat rude to expect perfection. Still, I expected more, not something so eh.
Worth renting: I would, just to say you saw it.
Blu-ray or DVD: It’s in black and white, so DVD’s fine.