Much Ado 2012

My first reaction to this adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing was that I wouldn’t be recommending it to people anytime soon. In my opinion, I didn’t really understand what the movie was trying to do. Between the keeping the original Shakespeare lines but putting it into a modern setting, as well as making the film in black and white, it seemed like too much at once. In addition, for some reason, the monologues (for example, when Benedick overhears that Beatrice loves him) seemed a little weird. It almost seemed like theater acting as opposed to movie acting (I know we talked about how in live theater, actors/actresses have to overact some things so the audience can fully understand what’s going on from a distance). Mixing that into a movie seemed odd and a little overdone (when he starts doing pushups in front of Beatrice when she gets him for dinner, it was funny but out of place).

I did like how they made the Conrad into a woman and made her Don John’s love interest –  I think it added an interesting layer to their relationship and the plot in general. I also liked the comedic aspect in the scenes where Beatrice and Benedick overhear that they love one another. However, overall, I just feel like there were too many elements that the movie was trying to tackle, and it didn’t play out that well.

6 comments

  1. I agree with you. I did not particularly enjoy this version of Much Ado because of how uncomfortable it made me feel. The film attempted to modernize the play by using clothing from our era, however, the fact that it was in black and white and used with the language from the original play was confusing. I completely agree with you that many of the scenes felt out of place, it was tough to watch the whole thing.

  2. I agree with your point about making Conrad into a woman, however, in some scenes particularly the first one with her and Don Jon it seems as though she has no agency. I think that in some ways it sort of objectified her as just a body Don Jon could use as his toy to tell his plans to, rather than a character that brings something else to the table.

  3. I agree that as soon as I saw the movie was in black and white I found it to be completely bizarre. The modern setting combined with the black and white but the original lines was really unsuccessful for me and just seemed to be an all-around badly made movie.

  4. I also agree with you about not understanding why the movie is in black and white, and why it is set in modern-day while retaining the original script. I felt very disconnected from the movie because I expected it to challenge or at least update the Shakespearean narrative for a modern context and a modern audience. I enjoyed the Shakespeare in the Park adaptation of the play much more because, while it mostly kept the original script, it made notable and satisfying changes (such as Hero slapping Claudio in the end).

  5. I agree with the your observation of the movie trying to tackle too much at once. My favorite part, overall, was the casting choices and having everything take place under one roof. Those were small details that added to the comedic element, but not much else. It was a very similar message to the original and I am still confused as to what their goal with this production was.

  6. The film being in black and white gave it an older feel, despite being a modern adaptation. I thought this was an odd decision, as we don’t really think of Shakespeare in black and white anyway. I felt like this adaptation did not change the right things for a more contemporary feel.

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