What to watch this week at Cinecenta

Much Ado About Nothing, a film based on one of the most loved Shakespearean plays, briefly visited Cinecenta early in September, and it is now back this week by popular demand.

Despite the lengthiness of the official plot summary, the story and characters are easier to follow than you might expect. The film tells the journey of two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero, as they try to decide upon their feelings towards each other.

Although the film closely follows the original play, the director made minor alterations to make the story flow, such as turning characters who used to be lords and princes into politicians and adding a flashback for characters that had little exposition in the play. The film is presented in black and white. Its funnier moments are reminiscent of screwball comedy films by Frank Capra from the 1930s. An excellent example of this is when one character performs bombastic stunts to hide himself, although he still remains perfectly visible.

Instead of the timelessness we saw in a number of Shakespearean play adaptations of the 1990s (e.g. Titus and Hamlet), director Joss Whedon decided to create an adaption presented in ordinary, contemporary settings while still preserving the original dialogue.

The film feels very magical, as we hear such beautiful Shakespearean language from the type of people we might see on the street. An amazing aspect is that all of the dialogue is comprehensible and delivered with such fluency by the actors.

This movie has an interesting homemade tone into it, as the director decided to film the movie in his own house within just 12 days, using actors and actresses he chose from his previous works. Whedon also composed the entire soundtrack by himself and used the original book without a new script. All of Whedon’s handpicked cast involved in this film shine in every moment they are in it. My favourite character is Leonato played by the amiable Clark Gregg, who fills the film with warmth and likability in his performance.

I can safely say Much Ado About Nothing is a lively, lovable romantic comedy, filled with tremendous wit, eroticism and joy. This is the first great contemporary look at Shakespeare I have seen in quite a while—great not only because the refined words of Shakespeare were preserved, but also thanks to the visual atmosphere that feels so vibrant despite the fact the film is in black and white. The film will make you cry while laughing wildly at the same time.

 

Meanwhile a number of animated films are coming to Cinecenta, and one of them is Despicable Me 2.

The story is a straightforward spy-film plot, so you can follow the film without having watched the first one. Gru (Steve Carrell) is a single-dad super villain, living a quiet life with his three little adopted girls, instead of building demonic devices to take over the world. He finds himself being recruited by agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) from the Anti-Villain League, in order to defeat a villain whose invention is capable of turning everyone evil.

The film’s design looks as if a Loony Tunes cartoon turned 3D, and in fact Wiig also played Lola Bunny in The Looney Tunes Show, so it is not surprising that the voice fits perfectly to Agent Wilde’s quirky expression and body movements. The catchy and talented voice actors sound as though they were born for the parts.

Illumination Entertainment produced the first Despicable Me film and the highly successful Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, both of which boasted a breathtaking mixture of bright colours and great attention to detail and texture. This third film is not an exception. Looking at all the bright colours laid out will make one feel as though they are a child again.

Nevertheless, compared to the first Despicable Me, the sequel doesn’t have the same clear, coherent storyline and solid character development as its predecessor. Due to the popularity of the minions, Gru’s tiny sidekicks, more attention was put on their comedic routine, instead of the emotional development of the other characters. Despite its weaknesses, I believe Despicable Me 2 is enjoyable for both grown-ups and children.

 

Much Ado About Nothing
Oct. 7
7 p.m. and 9:10 p.m.
Despicable Me 2
Oct. 5 and 6
1 p.m.

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