Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | 1993 Movie Review

Guten Morgen, Leute! It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare and yet, his MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is one of my favorite things ever. So, as a person who generally dislikes Shakespeare and who spent long lunch periods lamenting over HAMLET and ROMEO AND JULIET and how utterly ridiculous they were with my friends, how on earth did I fall in love with MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?

Well… after lengthy thinking, I have come to a conclusion that the themes of miscommunication and coincidence that are, in my opinion, overly abundant in Shakespeare’s works actually work for me when it comes to his comedies. With tragedy, something about the idea that a person could have stopped a lot of bad things from happening if they’d just talk to people and be better communicators has never really worked for me and, instead of pulling tears from me causes me to roll my eyes. But with comedy, it works to create funny moments. 

That being said, of all of Shakespeare’s many works, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is very easily my favorite. I love the characters (especially Beatrice and Benedick) and the general plot is just my type of thing. I love the war of wits waging on between Beatrice and Benedick. I love the overall happy, lighthearted nature of the play. In all homesty, this play might be my favorite play of all time!

And yet, for all that, today I’m talking about the 1993 movie directed by Kenneth Branagh. It stars Emma Thompson as Beatrice, Kenneth Branagh as Benedick, Kate Beckinsale as Hero, Denzel Washington as Don Pedro, Keanu Reeves as Don John, and Robert Sean Leonard as Claudio. 

I want to start off by saying that Kenneth Branagh did a really good job at adapting MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and in playing Benedick. I must say that his performance is one of the best in the movie in my opinion. He and Emma Thompson make a really great Benedick-Beatrice pairing and I just really love their acting in this movie. They are pretty much spot-on and I really couldn’t ask for more.

When it comes to Elizabethan plays, the term “comedy” is thrown around a lot and a play that isn’t necessarily funny could still very well be called a comedy. Back then, if there was a happy  ending, it was a comedy. However, with MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, you’ve got a truly funny play. Seriously. Most of my time watching this movie, I was laughing. 

I’ll admit that in the last week I watched this movie about three times and each time I still found myself laughing and enjoying the movie! It’s a definite 5/5 stars for this movie from me! 

What do you think about Shakespeare? What do you think about MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING? Vielen Dank und tschüss!

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4 thoughts on “Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | 1993 Movie Review

  1. Boy, I remember the Shakespeare days in high school. It was Shakespeare where I first discovered the genre of tragedy. The first tragedy I was stuck with was Romeo and Juliet. Well, due to well it being a tragedy and due to it being Shakespeare, high school me was so close-minded to Shakespeare and tragedy. Each time we read a tragedy in high school, I ignored and I cannot believe I am saying this, but I did say I will never fall in love with a tragedy and I felt like they just did not belong in theatre.

    There was one Shakespeare show I was open-minded to. In tenth grade, my class read “Taming of the Shrew”. Since it was a comedy, I was more open-minded and enjoyed that play.

    In high school, I never realized it was big mistake to be so close-minded to tragedy. I should have known in high school that tragic actually exist. I literally am not joking. In 2009, I actually first heard of Les Mis due to the “I Dreamed a Dream” whole Susan Boyle Thing. So I should have known about tragic musical, but I honestly did not know what the full title was. Well oddly enough, in 11th or 12th, I discovered West Side Story” and knew exactly what that musical was based off of and I couldn’t connect the dots. So weird how I discovered two tragic musicals in high school but never could figure that out. Still it was a big fat mistake to be so close-minded to tragedy because little did I know that not one but two tragic musicals would make such an impact on my life in the college years and those two were Les Mis and Rent.

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    1. Absolutely! I don’t know if I’ll ever really like Shakespeare’s tragedy even with my generally open view towards tragedy through Les Miz. I just always thought that Shakespearean tragedies were a little too ridiculous. But his comedies always seem to be easier for me to like even though they contain many of the same plot devices as the tragedies! Much like you though, I was really surprised by the impact musical theatre left on my general view of tragedy!

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      1. I wasn’t used to tragic anything growing up when it comes to theatre. When it comes to theatre, what I grew up with goes all the way to Wicked and that would have been middle school.

        So when I first discovered tragedy, I was still so new to it. I just did not understand the genre at all. Plays are just so boring compared to musicals. Emotional connections are stronger in musicals thanks to songs. I thought tragedy was just a bundle of sadness and turns out that honestly is not even true at all.

        With Les Mis’ underlying spirituality and with Rent wonderful message of how to live life, it shows there are more to sad shows than I thought they would me

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