The Shakespearean play, Much Ado About Nothing, is traditionally portrayed over the theatre, but there is also a film version. Although there are a few similarities between the film and the play, for instance the script of the film is virtually the same as the original play, there are apparently more differences between the two versions. Firstly, the play apparently seems to be significantly more formal and serious while the film version is portrayed as more informal and fun. This may be because the film maker uses visual effects and the entertaining actions of the actors while the play can only describe and express everything means of speech.Order now
Another subtle difference is that in film, the expressions and actions of the actors play a large part in a comedy like Much Ado About Nothing. It isn’t just the script that creates laughter, but the manner in which they are set up and delivered. In the film, many other actions are shown which are not in the play. Good examples are Benedict antics with a folding chair, which add to the comic quality of the scene. Dogberry who is a clown in the original play, pretending to arrive on horseback, grimacing, performing antics like galloping around on a non-existent horse, add to the laughter brought by the text which is his constant use of wrong words in his speech.
These are the kinds of things that cannot appear on the written page. The film also contains its share of drama, and the pathos and poignancy come as easily and naturally as humour and do not need to be expressed in words. Also the actor’s expressions and movement help to show their emotions, which in the play can only be show by their use of words. For example in the first wedding scene where Claudio accuses Hero of being a wanton and shameless woman, Hero’s expressive reaction and crying evoke emotions in the audience and make us sympathize with her even more than when we read the play.
The play does not state and describe the setting and so does not play a very important role in establishing the mood of the scene. On the other hand, the film is set in the countryside, constantly outdoors in the sunshine. The setting in a film is very important because it sets the mood. Utilizing the beautiful rose coloured villa, gorgeous scenery, it expresses the happiness of the scene to the audience of the film which cannot be expressed in words. Moreover, to maintain the lividness of the film and to keep the audience attention, many lines and speeches and even entire scenes have to be cut, for instance Act I Scene 2 and Act III Scene 4.
Another difference would be the use of music and dance in the film. Music helps to bring out the mood of the scene. Beatrice swinging happily superimposed over Benedick dancing in the fountain with soaring music expresses the happiness they were feeling at that very moment. Even more vivid is dance, which is present in the party and at the end during the wedding, effectively portrays the happy and joyous feeling of the scene, which cannot be shown and described in the written play.
Furthermore the use of costume in the film helps to differentiate good from evil. For instance, all the ladies are in white while the gentleman in off-white and earth tones intensify the bucolic and innocent interpretation of the play. Don John’s dressing on the other hand is dark, which portrays evil. In conclusion, the main difference of film and theatre is that because the film is audio-visual brings another dimension to the story line and helps one better understand the plot through the use of music, acting and setting. Theatre on the other hand only can bring this out through means of speech making it less appealing and harder to understand.