Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Merchant of Venice (2004)

Venetsian kauppias / Köpmannen i Venedig. GB/LU/IT (c) 2004 Shylock Trading Limited and three other companies. P: Cary Brokaw, Barry Navidi, Jason Piette, Michael Cowan. D+SC: Michael Radford - from the play by Shakespeare (1597). DP: Benoît Delhomme - De Luxe - Super 35 anamorphic 1:2,35. PD: Bruno Rubeo. AD: Jon Bunker. Set dec: Gillie Delap. Cost des: Sammy Sheldon. M+songs: Jocelyn Pook. ED: Lucia Zucchetti. Shot in Venice and Luxemburg. Starring Al Pacino (Shylock), Jeremy Irons (Antonio), Joseph Fiennes (Bassanio), Lynn Collins (Portia), Zuleikha Robinson (Jessica), Kris Marshall (Gratiano), Charlie Cox (Lorenzo), Heather Goldenhersh (Nerissa). 138'. Beautiful photochemical look. A Scanbox Finland release, Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Mikko Lyytikäinen / Saliven Gustavson, referring to Shakespeare translations by Paavo Cajander / K.A. Hagberg. Viewed at Forum 7, Helsinki, Tuesday, 19 July 2005. This is the third impressive movie adaptation of the play. Orson Welles's unfinished "scenes from Shylock" is hauntingly beautiful, himself unforgettable as Shylock. Laurence Olivier's TV adaptation is excellent with himself as Shylock and his wife Joan Plowright as a definitive Portia. Radford's film covers the play's tricky duality as the bitter drama of Shylock and the wise romantic quest of Portia. Al Pacino is in the same league as Welles and Olivier in a profoundly tragic interpretation. Lynn Collins is a charming Portia and the tale of the three caskets and the two rings is wonderfully told. Radford's viewpoint to Shylock's tragedy is philosemitic, as were Welles's and Olivier's. Radford ends his film with the sad Jessica watching the family ring which she stole from her father Shylock, and the crushed Shylock, forced to convert to Christianity, shut off from his community.

No comments: