Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: William Shakespeare (play), Kenneth Branagh(screenplay)
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington, Robert Sean Leonard, Richard Briers, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves
Synopsis: Kenneth Branagh's production of this great Shakespeare comedy is a vigorous and imaginative work, cheerful and accessible for everyone. Largely the story of Benedick (Branagh) and Beatrice (Emma Thompson)--adversaries who come to believe each is trying to woo the other--the film veers from arched wit to ironic romps, and the two leads don't mind looking a little silly at times.
But the plot is also layered with darker matters that concern the ease with which men and women fall into mutual distrust. Branagh has rounded up a mixed cast of stage vets and Hollywood stars, among the latter Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton, the latter playing a rather seedy, Beetlejuice-like version of Dogberry, king of malapropisms. The DVD release has optional full-screen and widescreen presentations, Dolby sound, optional Spanish and French soundtracks or subtitles.