Performing Arts Essay, Research Paper
I did my project on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” I just so happened to see the movie and the play and will be using both for my comparison.
“Much Ado About Nothing” is a postwar love story. Its principal subject is that of romance that may settle over the land after soldiers come home. I noticed that Much Ado is actually two love stories. One concerns sweetly innocent lovers who are driven apart by the plotting of enemies. The other involves very sarcastic lovers who are swept into each other’s arms by the benign machinations of friends. I had a lot of trouble understanding the dialect, I grew up a country boy and we didn’t do much of this in my 14 persons graduating class. None the less I didn’t think it was a waste of time either. It was of very good quality as far as a plot is concerned. It had evil, jealousy, lust, love, romance, comedy and of course tragedy. If I were to do it over again I would go see the movie first, the play second. I was able to understand more from the movie than I did the play. I think that if I had done this I might have got more from the play.
As the good prince of Arragon, Denzel Washington did a superb job, and as Claudio, the love-struck innocent, Robert Sean Leonard performed great just as he has done in any other theatrical movies that I have seen him in.
But in the lesser role of the prince’s evil half brother, Keanu Reeves didn’t appear to be all that special, at times he did look evil but I have never been a big fan of Keanu’s acting. He always sounds like a baboon when he opens his mouth. Maybe I am just remembering too much of Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure?
Beatrice and Bene*censored* are adversaries united only in their contempt for marriage. Once the two finally let down their guard and allow their true feelings to blossom, they are united in marriage. Before this can happen, however, the volatile couple must stop bickering long enough to realize their attraction, (which at times I thought was hilarious) and attend to the fate of another couple, Claudio and Hero.
I will say this I may not be great at understanding the (modern English?) dialect but I did realize that the movie cut out lines and parts of the actually play. He (Branagh the movie director) also left out offensive references that are in the actual play. I think in comparison that movies are focused on visuals, surroundings and the lead in to a scene. This takes more time where the play does not. If the movie had done every thing just like the play and still held true to their camera attractions think the movie would have been twice as long. Another thing I found to vary between the play and the movie is that the movie is great in having close ups and all of that, but because of this you don’t get to see the rest of the scene at the same time, like the background acting. Sometimes it is good to see everything that is going on in a room or courtyard, rather than just seeing 2 minutes of a person’s face. Also it degrades the actors full involvement such as body movement and mannerisms when you only see their face.
I will be honest with you I had a lot of trouble enjoying the play, like I said the dialect gave me trouble, plus my seats were not that great. I did however like the movie quite a bit, but I realize I am a product of a different generation as well. I have been brought up around TV and movies rather than plays or to put it differently I was raised in a camera-dominated world with special effects and cool camera trickery. So I guess in my case it is only natural that I might like the movie a little more. By the time I got ? way through the movie, the dialect was growing on me.
Shakespeare must have been one heck of a man; he is like the Speilburg, Coppella and Oliver of his time. I with all the things he incorporates in his play like love hate, evil, happiness, sadness, tragedy, comedy, romance, betrayal and several more keeps you and your emotions on a roller coaster ride. Which is brilliant because we all know that as humans we adhere to stimulation and that is what it does, it stimulates us by incorporating all these emotions and jumping around with them. With the movie it also adds a score and soundtrack as well as camera shots and things that appeals to our senses that much more. At least it does for me.
Branagh’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s play leaves the viewer with the impression of a fairy tale in which everyone (except the villain) will live happily ever after. The film is good, but even as I am partial to the movie I do believe to properly appreciate Shakespeare’s work it is necessary to take the time to peruse the play in a leisurely and contemplative manner, and if anything to get the WHOLE play in which the movie did not give.