Young lovers Hero and Claudio are to be married in one week. To pass the time, they conspire with Don Pedro to set a “lover’s trap” for Benedick, an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice, his favorite sparring partner. Meanwhile, the evil Don Jon conspires to break up the wedding by accusing Hero of infidelity. In the end, though, it all turns out to be “much ado about nothing.”
Perhaps the best-known Shakespeare interpreter of the late 20th century, Kenneth Branagh began his career in a golden haze of critical exultation. First a star pupil at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (one of Britain’s most prestigious drama schools), then a promising newcomer on the London stage, then hailed as “the next Olivier” for his 1989 screen adaptation of Henry V, Branagh could, for a long time, do no wrong. Unfortunately, a string of bad luck, catalyzed by his disastrous Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1994, began to tarnish the halo that had hovered above the actor/director’s head. His lavish, four-hour Hamlet in 1996, however, did much to further his status as a man who knew his Bard, helping to alleviate some of the disappointments that both preceded and came after it.
Although his accent suggests otherwise, Branagh originally hails from Northern Ireland, not England. Born in Belfast December 10, 1960, to a working-class family, he was raised in the strife-ridden… read more
A pure Shakespearean rom-com, with elements of screwball aptly thrown in there as well. Undeniably charming in its rapid-fire ripostes and lovely in its romance, with Branagh’s direction and the polished production to also be lauded so. Fine cast too - I for one thought Keanu’s woodenness suited his contemptuous Lord John quite well - but not Keaton, who is all but channelling a watered-down Beetlejuice.
Say what you want about Reeves' performance, but this is one of my favorite Shakespeare movies
The film comes beautifully alive when Emma Thompson's Beatrice graces the screen. She's a marvel, wiping up the screen with Branagh's boobish Benedick. The stunt casting goes terribly wrong, with Keanu painfully at sea, and Michael Keaton's revoltingly moronic Dogberry the worst examples.