William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Reviews
The movie does a great job of complicating the character of Shylock, and makes the viewer question his role as a victim or a villain. In the end, nobody will feel unmoved by the truly excellent and genuinely poignant court scene.
The courting prices are shallow stereotypes and constitute the only kind of (unintentional) humour this otherwise dry movie brings. I do not understand the choice of not giving the play-appropriated importance and weight in consequence to the casket-scenes. This is strange, since the movie is clearly a dramatized version of the play, and else there is not much that distinguishes Portia from a common harlot when every man can come make his suit without consequence. It saddens me to see the superficiality of these scenes, because Shakespeare did provide more complex and sympathetic characters in the original.
I like these lines:
"Shylock: I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
Bassanio: Do all men kill the things they do not love?
Shylock: Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bassanio: Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shylock: What! wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?"