3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Appalling sound quality, variable acting,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Merchant of Venice [DVD]  (DVD)The first things that struck me (and others watching with me) about this DVD was the mumbling of the actors and generally appalling sound quality, particularly early in the film. When trying to watch as a group we ended up turning the DVD off and watching something else, as it was so hard to hear what the actors were saying - this wasn't related to noise in the room, but the director's habit of having the actors whisper (mumble) little asides, whilst competing with background noises of life in Venice. It is possible to act a whispered aside without it becoming unintelligible, but for some reason this skill was not apparent in this production. In the end, I waited until I had the house to myself and turned the sub-titles on to watch the DVD in such a way that I could understand it. That really shouldn't be necessary for a film in my native tongue.
I'm sad to say, that despite a couple of good acting performances, the whole experience of this production was anti-climactic. It felt longer than it really was and I caught myself looking at my watch a few times. I have seen the Merchant of Venice on stage and loved it. I have watched a number of the works of Shakespeare on DVD and most have been really good. This one, despite the cast, did not work for me at all.
Also, one thing to be aware of if you are planning on watching this with children - the classification information on the packaging says "Sex/nudity - None". The film does depict Venetian prostitutes topless. Yes, it's in context, but if I was watching with children I might not be too pleased by that classification panel. That's just one to be aware of if you are thinking about buying this DVD.
Altogether, not impressed.