Kenneth Branagh's version of the timeless William Shakespeare classic is a great rendition of the film, making it accessible to everyone, even those who do not like Shakespeare. Apparently when Branagh did this play, he had to cut off a great deal of the script, and he focused on the main characters, being Beatrice and Benedict and their romance, and of course the drama concerning Hero and Claudio, but also keep other characters incorporated as well.
Don Pedro and his noblemen are visiting their good friend Leonato in Messina after having quashed the uprising led by Don John, the prince's bastard half-brother. The arrival of Don Pedro and his noblemen at the home of Seigneur Leonato in Messina brings about much celebration. Among the victors are Benedick, Leonato's niece, Beatrice, and Benedick's "sworn brother" Claudio, a young count.
The spirit of love and happiness is alive in the party and Claudio and Leonato's daughter Hero engage to marry within a week. To pass the time Don Pedro makes a pledge to engage the confirmed bachelor Benedict and the sarcastic Beatrice together. Meanwhile Claudio's brother, Don John, conspires to break up the wedding by making accusations against the young Hero. The night before the wedding Borachio arranges to meet with Hero's gentlewoman Margaret at Hero's chamber window. John shows Claudio the rendezvous and makes them believe that they are seeing Hero in the act of infidelity. He breaks up the wedding and now it's a battle of the sexes and what damage you could do with a woman's reputation.
The performances by the actors were great as well.
The lovers Claudio and Hero are completely and wonderfully upstaged by Benedict and Beatrice, the most perfectly mismatched pair in the history of love, exactly as they were meant to be. The wit sparkles and cracks between Beatrice and Benedict are opposed to more traditional and borderline sappy form of Elizabethan love exhibited between Hero and Claudio....
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