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Sunshine and laughter, and merrymakers on a hillside sprinkled with flowers.In the opening scene of "Much Ado About Nothing," Kenneth Branagh insists on the tone the movie will take: These are healthy, joyful young people whose high spirits will survive anything, even the dark double-crosses of Shakespeare's plot. The first, Claudio and Hero, are destined to be almost torn apart by the treachery of others.When a character has strong emotions of happiness or sadness, Shakespeare uses poetry to highlight the heightened feelings and often allows characters long and uninterrupted speeches of poetry to express themselves more clearly and with feeling.
While Benedick and Beatrice do their best to assure that they will never become a couple, the scheming Don John plots to destroy the love that has bloomed for Claudio and Hero.
His evil plan involves the use of impostors to convince Claudio that Hero is a wanton woman, unfaithful to him with any man who comes to hand.
Some of the characters have a language device as Dogberry with his malapropisms "our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato", the awkward language of the watch, and Beatrice and Bene*censored* have their witty exchanges of conversation interwoven with insults and teasing.
The World of Status From the beginning of time man has dealt with the issue of status.
That last film, oddly enough, has a tone somewhat in common with "Much Ado About Nothing." The play, set in Sicily and shot in Tuscany, involves a few crucial days in the lives of the followers of Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), Prince of Arragon, who returns victorious from battle with his half-brother Don John (Keanu Reeves).
They are now apparently on speaking terms, but Don John, wearing a wicked black beard, mopes about the edges of the screen, casting dark looks upon the merrymakers.
The second, Benedick and Beatrice, are almost kept apart by the treachery of their own hearts.
The plot is driven by the kinds of misunderstandings, deceptions and cruel jokes that work only in stage comedy, or perhaps in P. Wodehouse, where people are always lurking in the shrubbery, eavesdropping on crucial conversations.
It is entirely appropriate that it has been released in the springtime.
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