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The Merchant of Venice (2004)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  3 December 2004 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 26,255 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 156 user | 113 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.

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Title: The Merchant of Venice (2004)

The Merchant of Venice (2004) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Venice, 1596. Melancholy Antonio loves the youthful Bassanio, so when Bassanio asks for 3000 ducats, Antonio says yes before knowing it's to sue for the hand of Portia. His capital tied up in merchant ships at sea, Antonio must go to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender he reviles. Shylock wraps his grudge in kindness, offering a three-month loan at no interest, but if not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of flesh. The Jew's daughter elopes with a Christian, whetting Shylock's hatred. While Bassanio's away wooing Portia, Antonio's ships founder, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. With court assembled and a judgment due, Portia swings into action to save Bassanio's friend. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

3 December 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$31,029 (Chile) (14 April 2006)

Gross:

$205,220 (Chile) (26 May 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bare-breasted prostitutes were not put in the film to make it more risqué, but rather to add a note of historical authenticity. Venetian law at the time required all prostitutes to bare their breasts because the Christian authorities were concerned about rampant homosexuality in their city. See more »

Goofs

When the Jews are carrying the Torah around the synagogue, the prayers and garb is appropriate. The Torah would only be taken out to be read. Traditional Jews only read Torah in the morning, when the light for reading would be best before the advent of artificial lighting. Therefore the Torah would not have been out at that time of day. See more »

Quotes

Bassanio: In Belmont is a lady richly left - and she is fair, and fairer than that word - of wondrous virtues. Sometimes, from her eyes I did receive fair... speechless messages. Her name is Portia, no less a beauty than Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia. Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,for the four winds blow in from every coast renowned suitors. O my Antonio, had I but the means to hold a rival place with one of them then I should question less be fortunate.
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Connections

Referenced in Leaves of Grass (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

How Sweet the Moonlight
Composed and Arranged by Jocelyn Pook
Words by William Shakespeare
Featuring Andreas Scholl
Published by Shylock Ltd / EMI Music Publishing Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Merchant has been reinvented - with a deft hand
12 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

I am always impressed when a director (and this case director/screenwriter) takes a piece of classical text - and makes it come alive. Sure, Shakespeare's text can give you goosebumps even when hammered out with self-importance, but to see a production where true inventiveness makes wonderful words even more so - by the provision of context or nuance not found in the stage directions is simply awe-inspiring. There are many troubling things about the play. It is a racist play about racism - and that still sticks. I have never accepted Jessica's desertion of her father without any acceptable reason. I have never accepted the Christians' position of sanctimonious self-righteousness. But, brilliantly, there is a text prologue which helps us understand the times and politics in which the story is set, and mercifully, much of Jessica's part is cut.

The text is quite stripped down with many passages cut. But, I only noticed one line which was cut at the moment when I expected to hear it

  • and it was replaced by a look that said it all. This economy and


judicious editing has given us a gripping movie - not just a film of the play.

And at last, there is a rationale as to why Antonio is so loyal and generous to the undeserving/unrelated Bassanio - you can almost feel Antonio's pulse start to race when he catches glimpse of Bassanio passing by in a gondola, or arriving for a visit. But it is as subtle as that - no more. I was spellbound.

There were many other highlights. I felt the arguments during the trial to be heartbreaking. And, the suitors' trials are hilarious.

Add all that to glorious cinematography and costumes that resonated with the times, and you'll understand why I can't wait to see it again. And again.


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