I was lucky enough to see Much Ado at the UK premier last weekend, and I'm very glad I got the chance. I've been a big fan of Joss Whedon's work for a long time. However my knowledge of Shakespeare is very little, so I read the play first, which really helped me understand the text and the time period and appreciate some of the humour. I would highly recommend any Whedon fan who isn't familiar with Shakespeare to read the play before you see the film.
Much Ado struck me as a lovely little independent film. It's a delight for fans of Joss, as we get to see many fan favourite actors clearly having a great time. Alexis and Amy both shine, and Nathan was hilarious and great, despite this being his first time doing Shakespeare. The acting from the entire ensemble is consistently engaging, and most importantly, the film is funny throughout. Filmed entirely at Joss's house, which is a beautiful location and made all the better in glorious black and white. This and the understated music really add an interesting atmosphere to the film. After all, it is a 500 year old play put in a modern day setting, so it's kind of other-worldly. As for what this interpretation adds to the much loved play, certainly there are some subtleties of the characters and their lives which Joss has expanded on.
This film is the first to be released through Joss's independent production company Bellwether Pictures, and it bodes very well for the future of Joss's independent film work.
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