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It is entirely appropriate that it has been released in the springtime.The Ebert Club is our hand-picked selection of content for Ebert fans.
"Much Ado About Nothing" is a play categorised as a comedy, and written by the dramatist William Shakespeare.
A comic play is usually accepted to be a light-hearted play with a happy conclusion.
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.
His "Dead Again" hurtled headlong into the juiciness of the murder-and-reincarnation genre.
His "Peter's Friends" was a reunion of old university chums whose youthful quirks had matured into full-blown eccentricities, for good or ill.
Much Ado is of the comedy genre as it contains humorous scenes and ends happily, however the play Prose predominates in comedy and where a conversational rather than an emotional or imaginative effect if desired, this strengthens the argument that Much Ado is a comedy.
Shakespeare wrote the play mostly in prose form except for scenes of extreme emotion and feeling, "could she here deny…thou wouldst not quickly die" as when Hero's unfaithfulness was enlightened at the church to Leonato.
It is farce and mime and wisecracks, and dastardly melodrama which all comes right in the end, of course, because this is a Comedy.
The key to the film's success is in the acting, especially in the sparks that fly between Branagh and Thompson as their characters aim their insults so lovingly that we realize, sooner than they do, how much they would miss their verbal duets.