28 February 2008 | ma-cortes
Excellent and well set rendition about Shakespeare ¨pound of flesh¨ story
This British-US-Italian co-production is set in 16th century, Venice. It's a taking on Shakespeare book based on ¨pound of flesh¨ drama, focusing a tale of religious and social prejudice, where the Jew Shylock gets its vengeance in a money loan .(Jeremy Irons) Antonio's friend Bassanio(Joseph Fiennes)is in love and needs money to go courting Portia(Lynn Collins.) Antonio borrows money from ambitious and revenger Shylock. Then, Shylock's daughter named Jessica(Zuleikha Robinson) runaway home with all jewels and money. The Jew Shylock(Al Pacino) has a long memory of oppression but vendetta isn't so sweet and reclaims repayment over Antonio's flesh. Shylock becomes furious and is extremely motived by the injustices of life as Jew. Meanwhile the trial is assembled and Portia goes into action to save Antonio.
This very enjoyable film is a balance of both, tragedy and comedy. As is both delightful, disturbing and dramatically marvellous. Al Pacino delivers a wonderfully complex and dark performance. His portrayal is pretty watchable and absolutely memorable, he's a Shakespeare expert , like he proved in ¨Looking for King Richard III¨ which he starred and and directed. I found particularly nice the way the film handled the court rivalry , the antagonism between them and final result. The movie packs an evocative musical score by Jocelyn Pock(Eye wide shut) and colorful cinematography by Benoit Delhomme, director's usual cameraman. The motion picture is well directed by Michael Radford. Another adaptation about this known book are mostly made for TV, these are the following : 1973 with Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright and Jeremy Brett ; 1980 by Jack Gold with Warren Mitchell and John Rhys Davies ; 2001 by Trevor Nunn with Henry Goodman. And by Orson Welles with Oja Kodar but was scrapped and pretended to release with other of his unfinished movies, though never completed when the negatives were mysteriously lost. I would recommend this picture to anybody interested by Shakespeare.