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Pacino plays King Lear

AlPacino.jpgAl Pacino continues with his Shakespearean love as he heads to play King Lear in film along with writer and director Michael Radford who wrote and directed the Merchant of Venice adaptation which saw him play Shylock.

Now he's set to play King Lear, the man who divides his kingdom between his three daughters and who will declare and show their love for him. Two daughters court him for his kingdom while the other one is honest and unwilling to play the game, she is exiled and the other two win her father's favour and kingdom.

His conditions are that the two daughters will look after him and keep him in the manner he became accustomed to as King, however they decide to betray him, take everything and throw him out, and he realises all too late that the only one who really loved him was the honest daughter whom he exiled.

King Lear is a great story and has been played by many famous actors in the past. What I didn't really appreciate is that there are two original stories behind that of the King Lear that we know, you can read more about it over on Wikipedia.

The Variety article tells us that the film is going to be shot in the UK and Europe and that they are going to make the film true to its period, is that the King Lear period as in Shakespeare or the period from the original tale? That might make it somewhat different, however I do suspect it will be the Shakespearean tale.

It does also suggest that there's something a little different to the adaptation that Michael Radford has written, although I suspect not too much really.

It hopefully marks a strong performance to come from Al Pacino, someone who like many of his counterparts has waned in his career of late apart from the odd flash of excitement. He's been far from the strength of actor that he was way back in the day, when it could be argued that he played many a Shakespearean character in a contemporary story.





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Confession. My first Shakespeare experience was the film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice that also starred Pacino as Shylock, and I loved his portrayal of him. Since then I have embraced Shakespeare mainly with productions on stage. The best Lear performance on film was apparently a toss up between Ian Holm and Paul Scofield, now that there is another film with Anthony Hopkins playing Lear, it will be interesting to see how my dear Al holds up.

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