July 5, 2013 by rachelcmann
I was reallllly excited about this film. I love Whedon and was excited to see his take on Shakespeare. The cast filled with Whedon vets was a like a giant mixing of fandoms. But I honestly left the movie theater a little underwhelmed. Let me break it down.
Much Ado about Nothing is basically about a couple who fall in love and want to get married. Then one a**hole decides to screw it up, makes the man think the gal is a slut and he calls her out and shames her in front of everyone. Not cool bro. But in the Shakespearean way, someone overhears the plot and the truth is brought to light. Just in time for it to end happily ever after. Except all that is the subplot. The real story is about people who pretend to hate each other but are actually in love and are forced to admit after being manipulated by their friends. Happily ever after.
So how do you make this compelling and modern while using the contemporary language? Well, you make it a “film” instead of movie. This is about as far away from The Avengers as you can get. Shot in black and white, it’s done in one house, with simple natural sets and very little fluff. Since this was a project that Whedon took on in his spare time and his friends did as a favor, it has that look of an indie film. What always strikes me the most in indie films (and foreign films as a general rule) is the lack of soundtrack. Maybe I’m just trained, but modern movies have an underlying sound track with atmosphere and foreshadowing that is missing in these movies. In the pauses between lines there is dead silence and it’s really distracting for me.
I will give two major thumbs up to the cinematography. There are some great camera angles, a lot is shot through a window or doorway, making you feel like a voyeur. On the flip side of that, there are some shots that are very odd. And the scene in the swimming pool is just plain baffling. There is some great stuff but since it’s been awhile since I’ve read the source material it’s hard to tell what is Shakespeare and what I can credit to Whedon. (That works in the reverse as well.)
If you’re a Whedon fan you’re going to see this movie no matter what. And to that end you can enjoy the reunion of Wesley (Alexis Denisof) and Fred (Amy Acker). You can revel in the cheeky idiocy of Nathan Fillion and drool over the ridiculously sexy Sean Maher. I will probably see this again when it comes out on DVD so I can dissect it a little more, but I’m disappointed that it wasn’t love at first sight like I expected. That’s so unfair of me isn’t it?
- Clark Gregg Talks MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., THE TO DO LIST, TRUST ME, and More (collider.com)
- Joss Whedon, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg Talk MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Shakespearean Dialogue, and More (collider.com)
- Much Ado About Something (snapcracklepopcultbr.wordpress.com)