And I finally got to see it, but now I meet with a little difficulty. I am no expert on Shakespeare, and honestly I probably feel a bit too proud of myself for understanding this movie, though it was relatively easy. I don't feel qualified to critique this movie. I lack the experience and understanding to know if this is a good adaption or not. I only know what I happened to like and dislike. So let this be a disclaimer, and from here on I'll go ahead and make this review as biased, subjective and otherwise personally opinionated as I like. As, really, these things should be.
|Leonato is ashamed... no... just hungover.|
Like the cast. Though this is another situation where my lack of Shakespearean knowledge weighs me down, but, in general, no one sounded unnatural or like they were just saying lines. The leading couple, Beatrice and Benedick, (Amy Acker, and Alexis Denisof) are fiery and goofy -- former mostly to former and latter mostly to latter -- well matched and fun to watch. I particularly love the hilarious, over-the-top scenes where they try desperately to overhear "secret" conversations staged for their benefit. And the one scene between, where Benedick goes through a series of lunges, pushups, and crunches, in an obvious attempt to impress the icy lady.
|The comedic styles of Shakespeare and Whedon suit each other very well.|
Also standing out in the cast is the awesome Clark Gregg as Leonato, delivering the comedic one-liners only slightly more brilliantly than his dramatic lines. Sean Maher is the complete opposite of his Firefly character, and impressively so, as Don John, the cold, scheming evil villain, and his Firefly captain, Nathan Fillion is probably the funniest character, Dogberry. I laughed many times. And the secondary couple, Hero, played by newcomer, Jillian Morgese, and Claudio, Fran Kranz, easily manage to be an adorable couple is spite of relatively limited screen-time. Everyone in this movie is so obviously having a blast, how can we do anything but also have a blast watching them?
|The most effortlessly stylish "home video" ever.|
And a world, at that, that I would by no means mind living in -- a laid-back, joyful place where making a movie is as easy and fun as calling up your friends for a party and grabbing a video camera and a book for source material. And for someone like me, that is nothing short of inspiring.