Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Merchant of Venice

2004, 2 hours, director: Michael Radford
For a contemporary version the film is viciously anti semitic, though this very ferocity condemns itself. Al Pacino makes a masterly Shylock, who evokes sympathy in his isolation, more than revulsion for his grim desire for revenge. However these are not the issues in the ever graceful drama, and the beauty of the lines and words comes across, as the camera wafts us through the ancient aromatic ambiance of Venice, with subdued, tinctured, painterly hues. Excellent.

To quote A O Scott
 ...to allow its uglier qualities to continue to complicate its brilliant inquiries into law, loyalty, the ethics of making promises and the quality of mercy......a gallery of Renaissance paintings come to life...imagine the people envisioned and captured by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio and Titian performing Shakespeare.....the radiant authority Ms Collins brings to the role of Portia.....one of the great courtroom scenes in recent movies, a dense, emotionally volatile tableau of cruelty and beauty....



Anonymous said...

I hope Pacino will get the chance to play King Lear on the screen someday, by the way.

S. M. Rana said...