Posted by Valentina Valentini on March 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm
I knew when I sat down… actually, I knew as soon as I heard this film was being made, that one botched acting job could ruin the movie. You know, there were many factors in this that could have ruined one of Shakespeare’s best romcoms, but 45-minutes in I was pleasantly surprised to find that so far, none of them had happened. Joss Whedon managed to mix Audis, iPods and fist bumps with black-and-white Bard fairly effortlessly, it seems.
I was laughing, I was invested in the characters, it was all there – Shakespeare was living and breathing at Joss Whedon’s compound in the hills with Alex Denisof, Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker and many of the rest of the Whedon clan.
Fran Kranz (Dollhouse) as Claudio had some of the best comedic timing in a story that relies heavily on it, and Nathan Fillion was given an excellent opportunity to take his wannabe-cop role from Castle into Dogberry, the incompetent Constable of Messina. He and his sidekick Verges, played by Tom Lenk, drew some of the biggest laughs of the film and showed Whedon’s strength at not veering too far from the original slapstick style Shakespeare intended for the play, as far as I’m concerned.
UPDATE 6/4/13: After the thrill of SXSW settled and the mainstream reviews began to come out for Much Ado this week, I’d like to recant my ‘botched acting’ comment. There was one: Jillian Morgese as Hero over-acted, over-dramatized, over-everything and I firmly believe she was miscast.