Last night, I went to see the second of my two must-see summer movies, the other being Monsters University. I think I came unprepared as a moviegoer. I was the only male in the audience who did not have a date. The majority were forty/fifty-somethings with some twenty-somethings in the mix. I’m not sure if I was supposed to have someone with me or what but I felt a bit strange after doing a quick audience check,
Visually, it’s great. Acting, pretty decent. Comedy, you bet. But I left confused as I still had no idea who everyone was. Sure, I knew Hero and Lord Dogberry just because it’s Nathan Fillion who I found noticeably lightened the audience’s mood whenever he was on screen. I guess it’s a problem I have with not just the Bard but with a piece that has a large cast, you need to put names to people. It’s really hard if the cast has very few distinguishing differences. This is the second time I have seen a Much Ado adaptation but both times I wished the people wore nametags because I could not keep track of who was what part.
Look, I appreciate what Joss Whedon has done with this adaptation by updating the setting and some aspects of the story while still keeping the original text but in a more subtle way than say Baz Lurhman’s Romeo + Juliet. Some of the text may not roll of the tongue as easily as it would today but that’s some of the fun with an updated adaptation. The audience laughed at times whether it was in the banter or the antics on screen. Something serious followed by a humorous refresher; just what I expected from Whedon.
This will require a few more viewings before I can appreciate it. That, and some readings of the original text. But for now, I can say it’s a good film with enough for any Whedon fan to be happy.