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Much Ado About Nothing

Year: 1993
Director: Kenneth Brannagh
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Kenneth Brannagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton, Ben Elton, Kate Beckinsale, Robert Sean Leonard
Because Shakespeare's work is so complex and broad, every time you watch a Shakespeare adaptation, you're getting the writer or director's idea of what the story is about. If Brannagh gleaned the bard's true intentions, then both artists have a keen sense for the irony of love and the machinations of the heart being so important to us but combining to form such a comedy of errors.

Despite the fun poked at everyone who's ever fallen under the spell of cupid's arrow (a theme more fully explored in a Midsummer Night's Dream), it still has the heart to take the effect of romantic anguish on the soul seriously. Set in a gorgeous Tuscan village, the coming of a band of soldiers unleashes excitement and emotional turmoil on the villagers as winsome looks and jealous barbs fly back and forth and everyone's caught up in a mish-mash of passion, loyalty and honour. A very Monthy Python-esque turn by Elton and Keaton as local police help reinforce both Brannagh and Shakespeare's comic basis.

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