Much Ado' About Nothing

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The 1993 film Much Ado About Nothing by Kenneth Branagh is an appropriation of the classic Shakespearean play. The director's deliberate choices in 'Much Ado About Nothing' engage the modern audience by renewing the key themes of evil, romance and deception.

Kenneth Branagh conveys the theme of the presence of evil in his Shakespearean adaptation, through visual and performance techniques. Don Jon is the main 'evil' character in the film, and the symbolism of lighting emphasises this feeling of darkness following him in the scene of him walking in the underground tunnels. In the same scene, another technique used by the director is the use of foreboding music. The theme of evil is emphasised by the dark music after he had cause havoc at Messina. The visual symbolism and foreboding music accompany dialogue which is maintained from the original text. For example, Don Jon says " I cannot hide what I am" which emphasises to the viewer his evil character. These choices of visual symbolism and music accompanying the original dialogue emphasise the renewed theme of evil which Branagh deliberately uses to engage modern audiences.

Romance is also a key theme in the film, that is consistent with the original text. The two main love relationships are between Claudio and Hero, and also between Benedick and Beatrice. A number of techniques have been chosen by the director to create a sense of romance during the key 'love' scene is at the end of the film, when everyone gathers outside the church to attend Hero and Claudio's wedding. The music in a major key creates a feeling of joy and triumph, which is reflected in the character's facial expressions. Other techniques, such as falling flowers, vertical angle shots, the 'Hey Nonny Nonny' poem and spontaneous song and dance also helps create this feeling of joy and triumph. These visual and performance techniques chosen by the director support the integrity of the original text by foregrounding romance in the film...
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