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Friday, December 15, 2017 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Merchant Of Venice cinematronic
  director

Michael Radford

cast

Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins, Zuleikha Robinson, Kris Marshall, Charlie Cox, Mackenzie Crook, Heather Goldenhersh, John Sessions

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  It sounds like a recipe for disaster — or hilarity: Noo Yawk character actor Al Pacino as Shylock. Yet Pacino's capacity for smoldering intensity and seething anger is well suited to the embittered, vengeful Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." It may not be Pacino's Little Italy, but the setting is Italian, albeit medieval. And it turns out that this version of the play, adapted and directed by Michael Radford, is among the better film versions of the Bard's work. The transatlantic diversity of its cast is no detriment to its deft intermingling of high drama, rear-view mirror social commentary, fanciful humor and swoony romance. Joining Pacino are two British veterans of costume drama, distinguished actor Jeremy Irons as Antonio the merchant and rising leading man Joseph Fiennes as Antonio's protégé Bassanio. On the distaff side, there's Lynn Collins, a young, little-known American actress who's fabulous in the pivotal role of Portia, and the UK's exotic Zuleikha Robinson as Jessica, Shylock's harried daughter. The story is familiar: Antonio borrows from Shylock, and then lends the dough to Bassanio, so Bassanio can woo bright, beauteous (and dowry-heavy) Portia. But Antonio faces business setbacks and can't repay Shylock, who is legally entitled to compensation and demands satisfaction, even at the cost of Antonio's life. It's up to Portia, in disguise, to counter Shylock's case before the Venetian tribunal.  
cinematronic
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