16 Jun 2022
Anna Elizabeth, Hillary Shakespeare
Anna Elizabeth, Hillary Shakespeare
Emma Beth Jones, Johnny Lucas, Jody Larcombe
The writer-director Anna Elizabeth and Hillary Shakespeare pay homage to the legacy of Shakespeare through this adaption of one of his plays. This film tells the tale of romance full of surprises that involves the protagonist (Emma Beth Jones).
Hero and Beatrice, cousins and best friends have very different approaches to love. Beatrice has had bad experiences when it comes to affectionate relationships. On the other hand, Hero is a true romantic who is deeply in love but is too shy to admit the same. When these ladies get trapped in a house with the entire rugby team, they will be forced to face the questions both of them have been avoiding.
The cinematographer Tom Van Den Braek uses a series of mid-shots with a peppy song to establish the film and also add the modern flavour to it so that the movie appeals to the audience thus increasing the degree of engagement with the content. The set design, lighting, costume, colour palette, makeup, hair, and dialogues all the elements complement the Shakespearean style while the short film wants to make its own identity away from the original material it takes the inspiration from.
In the performance department, Emma Beth Jones plays Beatrice a woman of the modern times who likes to live her life on her terms. Beatrice is a strong woman and knows how to rebel against the wrong happenings around her. Jones picks up the nuances of her character and takes the audience on the journey which is a roller coaster of emotions. The young actress can change the mood of a particular scene with her body language effortlessly.
Jody Larcombe is Hero the parallel lead in the short film. She is a simple innocent girl full of love, care, and concern. Larcombe portrays the female protagonist as a calm composed person dealing with the sudden hardship thrown by life without letting go of her lady-like behavior. Jody Larcombe effectively maintains the grace and the charming personality of Hero. Larcombe manages to both impress and inspire the viewers by adhering to what the script demand of her.
Johnny Lucas plays the role of Benedict. He is a multi-faceted person making it difficult for the audience to understand him but the character keeps the viewers hooked on the storyline. Lucas emotes very well to distinctly showcase the multiple layers of Benedict's personality which in turn helps the actor to mould Benedict in such a way that he (Benedict) proves beneficial in shaping up the climax of the cinematic piece.
Luke Hunter as Claudio is a treat to watch. Claudio fits right into the image of Prince charming. Hunter uses his good looks along with his acting skills to transport the audience to the world Shakespeare had created. Hunter has the power to make the audience both like and dislike Claudio according to various situations as the narrative moves forward.
Jack Boal plays John the antagonist of the film. Boal gives John a mysterious vibe with the minimum use of facial expression and utilizing eyes to communicate to the fellow characters as well as to the audience.
Much Ado celebrates friendship, love, togetherness, family, and marriage. It also warns the audience against betrayal, deceit and infidelity.
There are a few minor issues with the film that hinders its popularity among the contemporary audience. Firstly the cinematic piece is lengthy and its pace is a little slow. Next the movie tries to incorporate the Shakespearean style of writing in the dialogues so the viewers feel the need for subtitles. In a few scenes, the short film takes the format of a play rather than a movie so the makers should have taken care of this crucial aspect.