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This review is from: The Merchant of Venice [DVD]  (DVD)
I have read the other eloquent and edifying comments on this wonderful production.
I loved every minute and the court scene where Antionio keeps his 'pound of flesh' is sheer genius, both in Shakespear's imagination and in the production.
There are simply not enough 'movie' style 'shakespeares' of the calibre of Branagh's Much Ado... and Gibsons Hamlet. I love my Shakespeare with the reality of a movie setting. The old stage settings are so dated and appropriate for a previous generation, but I am into reality. That's why I prefer Schofields Lear to Holms's; Holms stage was swathed in red cloth, but it is still a just a stage. Maybe that's what the bard had at his disposal but I wish he and Branagh had met at Universal Studios.
The court scene is great: Portia with the perfect wit, dialogue and understatement. Perfect for the movie genre and the integrity of Bassanio and Antonio is captivating. Pacino is a genius in that he avoids all the Shylockesque stereotypes. Good to find a Shylock who is not trying to be fagin! Ten out of ten for this one.