Once again, not really a book per say. Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespearean play and Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 film adaptation is a big part of the reason why. I first watched the movie with my mom back in junior high. By the time I read the play in high school, I understood the plot, the jokes, and the character quirks. Actually knowing what’s going on really enhances the whole Shakespeare experience, I think.

Either way, I think the 1993 movies is amazing! Firstly, Branagh and Emma Thompson  have such good chemistry in it – it’s just fun to watch. Secondly, I’m so used to seeing Denzel Washington play mean or overly grumpy characters that watching him in a comedy is wonderfully funny. And, of course, I adore Michael Keeton’s version of the master-at-arm; it’s just too over-the-top silly to not enjoy.

The only rough patch is Keanu Reeves’ rather flat performance as the villain – but hey, it’s Keanu Reeves, so it’s not too out of place. Besides, it’s a comedy, so we can all just laugh at him anyways.

The biggest thing though, is that Branagh obviously loves and respects Shakespeare’s genius with words and timing. Instead of changing things around or trying to inject them into a setting where they have no place (coughBrazLuhrmann’sRomeo+Julietcough), Branagh keeps true to the original setting and creates a lavish movie with colorful costumes and rich props.

Much Ado About Nothing remains one of my favorite plays and one of my favorite movies. If I’m in a bad mood, either version is bound to cheer me up! I tend to prefer the movie though (if only for ease of viewing). It’s really a treat to watch. I highly recommend it!

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