The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice (2004)During the last two days I was cutting and pasting time from here and there to watch “The Merchant of Venice“. Finally I managed to do so even with all the interruptions that I had…

Directed by: Michael Radford
Genres: Drama, Comedy
Cast: Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins, Zuleikha Robinson, Kris Marshall, Charlie Cox, Mackenzie Crook, Heather Goldenhersh, John Sessions, Gregor Fisher, Ron Cook, Allan Corduner, Anton Rodgers, David Harewood
IMDB raintg: 7.3
My rating: 9.0 [rate 9.0]

The Merchant of Venice” is one of those movies that make me spend some time thinking if I really want to rent it or not. It has an equal number of positive and negative factors that make the decision hard. This time there were two reasons to consider. On the positive scale was Al Pacino. He is one of those actors who practically guarantee some good to the movie even if everything else sucks. On the negative side was the story by William Shakespeare. I really didn’t like this guy until now. I was thinking his is overhyped.

I finally decided to rent the film and I am really glad that I did so.

Al Pacino was indeed incredible. This was one of my favourite roles of his. He is playing an old jew Shylock. He looks like a jew (with a beard and everything), he walks like a jew, he talks like a jew. He, for as much as the movie is concerned, is a jew.

The story was great. Seriously, I don’t know why Romeo-n-Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth are getting all the attention. Merchant of Venice is a much better story. It has a lot of drama and suspense. It also teaches a few important lessons, using some really powerful scenes. It is much more life-applicable than all the romantism of Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet.

On top of the story and good acting there was plenty of other work. Costumes, setup, lights, camera – were all great. Especially the camera. I liked the way it was used at some scenes to show the difference of levels.

Anyway, this is one excellent movie and I am very glad I saw it. Not only it provides excellent entertainment, it is also very classy and educational. Strongly recommended.

7 thoughts on “The Merchant of Venice”

  1. “negative side was the story by William Shakespeare”. Its very strange to hear, man. Shakespeare is GENIUS. I haven’t read him in english but i’ve read in russian (dont remember translator i think Boris Pasternak).

  2. Maybe he is a genius, but I really didn’t like any of his works. Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth were the only ones I was familiar with, and I am not particularly fond of them.

    Merchant of Venice is a much stronger story with some interesting plot twists. It made me look differently at Shakespeare’s work. I am thinking about rereading/rewatching some bits.

  3. If u like Al Pacino u should check out his “King Lear” (also by Shakespeare). Very interesting film, sort of documentary/repetition/investigation style with plenty of other good actors. Its not only the strory, but vision of the story by Al Pacino and other actors.

  4. I remembered the King Lear film. It is “the King is Alive”. Very interesting . It was also shown on PIK and i missed the beginning. So i watched like half of it never realising its King Lear. Director is from Denmark and he made this movie in a totally different way.

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