The movie captures the play’s spirit well, while at the same time not being exactly faithful to the original script. Cuts and edits have been made to make sure the lively play proceeds at a fast tempo. However, these changes are not immediately seen, for they are very subtle. The film is hilarious, unlike the book, which I find rather dry. The manner in which the lines are set up and delivered, the expressions and actions shown are wonderful. These physical elements do not appear in Shakespeare’s books. However, even with all the cuts, the film is aptly dramatic, with poignant arguments based on emotion and playing on desires and humour.
The differences present can be classified into three main categories. There are the differences in the script itself, differences in the way the characters are portrayed and differences in the setting. .
The script for the movie is not a complete replica of the original Shakespeare script. In fact, close to half the lines are cut.
Quite a few scenes are cut, for example Act 1 Scene 2 and Act 3 Scene 4. Parts of scenes are also not spared. For example, the conversations about clothing between the men (Act 3 Scene 2) and the women (Act 3 Scene 4). In order to fit the movie into the time frame of a film, the director had to cut many lines and speeches as well. More examples would Beatrice’s In our last con- flict four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one;’ (Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 63-65) This would also lead to a different interpretation of the character. The first sixteen lines of Act 3 Scene 1 have been cut and Beatrice seems to have accidentally chanced upon the conversation between Hero and Ursula, instead of the conversation being a carefully-planned plot. The Friar’s long speeches are compressed into short speeches in Act 4.
Speeches which are just ornate language are cut, for example Leonato’s A kind overflow of kindness, there are no faces truer than those that are so wash’d.