- David Zak
NOBLEMAN uses Merchant to teach revenge
Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has been utilized n many films and plays. None, however, are more timely than NOBLEMEN, a tough, hard-hitting look at a private boys' school in India where the competition for the starring roles is only the beginning.
Shay (Ali Haji) endures a lot of bullying, but his theater classes offer a ray of hope. How the instructor teaches the acting class is baffling and leads to some brief levity. The classmates easily fit into types - the handsome jock, the sneering nerd, the chunky outcast. The complicit teachers are silent because of their own fears or self-loathing.
As shown in many movies about the British system of education, the cycle of destructive behavior, once started, can have lasting generational consequences. Those films, though, often have subplots, including friendship, love, learning, or inspiration. Those themes are thinly portrayed here.
Is director Vandana Kataria’s intent to create a contemporary revenge tragedy for today’s audience? He holds nothing back. and - when viewed through that lens - the ending satisfies.
I could not find a trailer without spoilers.