The Merchant of Venice

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Michael Radford
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
The Merchant of Venice, Michael Radford's lush drama, based on the original by William Shakespeare, follows Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes) in the historic city of 1596 Venice as he makes an attempt to impress an heiress, by the name of Portia (Lynn Collins). However, not having the monetary funds to woo the heiress, he goes to one of his sea merchant friends, Antonio (Jeremy Irons), only to discover that the entirety of Antonio's money is already tied up in merchant ships that are out at sea. Antonio then goes to the Jewish moneylender, Shylock (Al Pacino) who offers Antonio a three-month, no interest loan of 3000 ducats for his friend Bassanio, but under the one condition that if he can't pay back his loan, he will owe Shylock a pound of flesh. After Bassanio has left for his romantic getaway with the Portia, Shylock and the founder of Antonio's ship demand their payments from Antonio.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    What Radford above all accomplishes in his filming of The Merchant of Venice is to suggest that, in essence, it is that most modern of entertainments: a dark - indeed, very dark - ...

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Btter-than-average screen Shakespeare: intelligent without being showily clever, and motivated more by genuine fascination with the play's language and ideas than by a desire to ca...

  • 70

    Variety David Rooney

    Despite a series of disclaimers about the treatment of Jews in the 16th century, there's even less disguising onscreen than onstage that this is an uncomfortably anti-Semitic play ...

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Classics, Historical