By Renee’ Collins
Rating: 5 (Out of 5 Reels)
I am a big William Shakespeare fan so when I read that Joss Whedon made a modern day version of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING to be screened at the South by Southwest film festival this year, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Apparently, Whedon shot the film in twelve days at his house in Los Angeles.
During the question and answer session after the screening Whedon said he wanted to use his house because it flows so well, is beautiful and by the way, his wife is an architect and designed it. This film is shot in black and white which I believe adds depth of the beautiful surroundings; simply wonderful. Most of the cast had never done Shakespeare but because Whedon asked them they immediately agreed. Most have also been in previous films by Whedon. Most notably for me is Nathan Fillion who in the past was in Firefly, Serenity and more recently in the ABC series Castle. Fillion is perfectly cast as the dimwitted Dogberry. Clark Gregg portrays Leonato who might be recognized because of his previous roles in some small Marvel comic films such as Thor and The Avengers.
Whedon admitted to being a Shakespeare fan since he could read and it is evident because he stays true to the original and only slightly modernizes some of the phrases to make them more understandable to the audience. I must admit I too understood the modernized lines even though I have seen Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 version several times; heck, I own it.
During the Q&A session after the film a woman walked up to the microphone and thanked Whedon on behalf of all English teachers because this film would bring Shakespeare to a new audience. I agree that this film is a fantastic modern day take on the age old story that all should see.