Rated: PG-13 For nudity. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: May 7, 1993 Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Kenneth Branagh directs and star in William Shakespeare's lively tale of fun, deception and love.
Branagh (Henry V and Dead Again) has put together a stellar cast, including his wife Emma Thompson, to star in his spirited adaptation.
Last year's Academy Award winning actress displays her talent once again as the headstrong Beatrice, who has a running verbal argument with the dashing Benedick (Branagh). He's returning from war with the Prince of Aragon (played by aristocratically cool Denzel Washington), along with Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard - Dead Poet's Society) and a band of weary warriors looking forward to some rest and relaxation.
Claudio wants to marry Beatrice's young cousin, Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and enlists the help of the Prince to act as the go-between. Once the match is made, the Prince's jealous brother (Keanu Reeves) designs a plan to malign the virtue of Hero and puts an end to Hero and Claudio's impending marriage. Reeves, however is not up to the task of playing a convincing villain, he'd drab and one-dimensional.
Seeing that Beatrice and Benedick really care for one another, their friends trick them into admitting it by letting them overhear how much each one secretly loves the other. This cat and mouse game allows some real laughs as the two sort out their true feelings. Branagh especially shines as he gets a chance to show what a wonderful comedian he is.
With the beautiful Tuscany setting, frolicking maidens, virile men sporting blue leather pants, comedy and great actors spouting the romantic words of Shakespeare, what else could you possibly ask for? Go see it - you're in for an enthusiastically good time!
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