Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

Director: Joss Whedon

The Regent Theatre - Octagon
Thursday 22 August 8.30pm
Friday 23 August 11am

The Guardian has called it “the first great contemporary Shakespeare since Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.” Now Joss Whedon’s take on the Bard’s Much Ado About Nothing is coming to the New Zealand Film Festival. The movie premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, which is fast becoming a big player in the industry after Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook premiered there. Much Ado About Nothing has gone on to win the Audience Award at this year’s Belfast Film Festival.

Whedon has built up an iconic basket of television work and was the man behind the phenomenon that was 2012’s The Avengers. His next move at adapting Shakespeare looks to be another stirring success. The plot chronicles two different loves, with the central story that of Claudio and Hero – said to be so besotted with each other that they are rendered speechless. The main story is supplemented by the tale of Benedick and Beatrice, whose “merry war” provides a much wittier, wiser take on love and is what makes the play so memorable. There is love, laughter and trickery, along with a character named Don Jon. Who could resist?

The story, apart from expanding the role of Ursula and switching Comrade’s gender, is kept close to the original. The movie has been shot in black and white and takes extensive advantage of natural lighting to make it feel “very found.” This seems to have paid off, with IndieWire critic Christopher Schobert remarking that “the result is an utter joy” and that it is “Whedon’s most emotionally resonant and fully realised film to date.”

This promises to be one of the hits of the festival. Go check it out: the original artistic genius combines with one from the twenty-first century one to bring you Much Ado About Nothing.
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2013.
Posted 2:29pm Sunday 11th August 2013 by Lyle Skipsey.