Much Ado About Nothing (1993)



Soldiers recently returned visit the home of the governor of Messina. One of the soldiers, Claudio, falls in love with Hero, the governor's daughter. And despite their constant "verbal jousting", soldier Benedick and Beatrice, the governor's niece, fall in love (with some pushing and manipulation).


Absolute brilliance! Wonderful, remarkable film! Branagh's third finest work behind Henry V and Hamlet. If I had one criticism, it would be that there are a couple of loose ends in the acting; I'm mostly referring to Leonard, Reeves, and Keaton. I guess in Reeve's case his character is kind of supposed to be like that, the melancholy, unemotional villain. There was one comment I read about Keaton's performance that I thought was pretty good. It said something like someone should've told him he wasn't doing Beetlejuice and the Holy Grail, which is kind of spot-on. The rest of the stars are brilliant. Washington has the poise and elegance to carry off his princely character of Don Pedro perfectly. Branagh and Thompson are beautiful and wonderful and perfect. The fact that they were married in real life totally gives them the perfect chemistry needed for their on-screen couple of Benedick and Beatrice. In this movie, there is an array of brilliant British actors such as Richard Briers, Brian Blessed, Imelda Staunton, Phyllida Law, and Gerard Horan.
But why did they all have to get naked in the beginning and have the whole long opening scene be that way? 
There are a couple of little things from the play itself that I would have liked for them to have added, such as in the beginning, Beatrice makes a comment about Benedick's service is that he has a strong stomach and he eats the rotten food that no one else wants, and another part when Benedick is hiding in the orchard, there is a boy with him that he sends off to fetch a book (this is well portrayed in the 1983 BBC film of "Much Ado").



1. Sigh No More, Ladies
2. Pardon, Goddess of the Night

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh


Kenneth Branagh ... Benedick
Emma Thompson ... Beatrice
Denzel Washington ... Don Pedro
Richard Briers ... Leonato
Robert Sean Leonard ... Claudio
Kate Beckinsale ... Hero
Brian Blessed ... Antonio
Keanu Reeves ... Don John
Richard Clifford ... Conrad
Gerard Horan ... Borachio
Phyllida Law ... Ursula
Patrick Doyle ... Balthasar
Jimmy Yuill ... Friar
Imelda Staunton ... Margaret
Michael Keaton ... Dogberry