Desdemona is played to near perfection, and the actress portraying Emilia really appears to understand the different shades of such a deep character. Iago and the soldiers sing a drinking song in one scene, and in another, musicians are seen playing briefly on exotic instruments, but otherwise the film has no music. Few stones appear to have been left unturned here. I don't pretend to be an authority on actors who have played Othello, but I've never witnessed a performance of the play, on film or on stage, wherein Othello was portrayed with more humanity and authenticity. She asserts her innocence, but Othello smothers her.
Othello makes a speech about how he would like to be remembered, then kills himself with a sword he had hidden on his person. But I must say some scenes were acted too erotically for such a character as Desdemona. A cut version yes, but it looks beautiful and is more accesible than other versions. Various methods, such as camera angles and focuses, background music, setting, and actors' interpretations all contribute to the mood, feeling and understanding of the movie. O is a retelling of Shakespeare's Othello, set in a contemporary southern prep school. Othello asks if Cassio is dead too and is mortified when Emilia says he is not.
Laurence Fishburne gave a stunning performance as the very intimidating and conflicted Moor, and Kenneth Branagh as Iago was his usual superb self, switching back and forth from menace in private to merriment or empathy when in the company of those he had to manipulate. At first, I was a little surprised even that a love scene between Othello and Desdemona was shown so openly. A wonderfully chilling performance, which left me convinced that Iago was possibly the most evil villain I have come across in any of Shakespeare's works. I know of no other black actor who works with the language this way. There is irony in the fact that if Welles had had that kind of money, no restoration would have been necessary.
Odin gets to make a few forceful dunks to display his athleticism, but by that time he's so addled by Iago's influence, which includes cocaine, that the movie has long since stopped making any dramatic sense. The dignified, regal Fishbourne transforms Othello into a tragic figure with restraint, control and believability. Iago seems to have no real motive, although several are given jealousy of Othello and Desdemona, racism, hatred of Othello, anger of being passed over for promotion etc etc , but I believe that he is not intended to have a motive - he is evil simply because that is his way, and he needs no motive. I wouldn't say that any of the tweaks are particularly for the better, but the essence of Shakespeare's tale of envy, jealousy and deceit is so powerful that it would take a bungling fool - an Ed Wood wannabe, for instance - to rob it of its power. And so the film remained, intriguing but imperfect, until Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles-Smith, teamed with Chicago producers Michael Dawson and Arnie Saks and they went looking for the materials to restore the film to its vanished glory. Surely he has made some poor choices in films, even though he's a wonderful actor, but in this one we're truly given the real Othello: the passion, the intensity of jealousy as it grows stronger alongside with Fishburne's well portrayed paranoia and, furthermore, we're finally given a black Othello! But the soundtrack was a mess.
Andrew Davies's modern retelling is set in New Scotland Yard and has all the Bard's wit, romance, pity, and terror -- and then some. Othello the movie is also great and once again I recommend it, it captured the story perfectly and has a big tearjerker type of feel, or you could just be in utter shock of what happens between Othello and Desdemona, how quickly he believes that his true love would betray him. Lodovico and Graziano enter to see what the commotion is about. He shows no remorse, no emotion, but simply calculation and cruelty. Being a touch put off by the fact that he had cast Laurence Fishburne as the moor, I watched it for the mere fact that Brannagh was playing Iago. The title character has been christened Odin, or O, a black basketball star and an athletic scholarship recruit to an all-white private high school.
That Othello is admirably qualified to take on the job in no way assuages Jago's fury at having been passed over, and he begins devising a complicated scheme to destroy his protege. After the two become close, Dominique casually shows Minou nude photographs of herself as if they were mere snapshots from a summer vacation. Iago was evil, yes, but for an actor to find a few moments to make him human -that's when the audience knows something extraordinary has happened on stage or screen. Instead, he focuses on the space between the film and our minds and engages in an internal dialog about being and representation. In a memorable shot, the pair have lunch on the roof of a high-rise café overlooking the sea. While Iago takes this as a chance to gloat about his wickedness, Cassio enters and wonders what the matter with Othello is.
Not Fishburne, he's a real actor in the sense that he understands the difference between who he his and what his instrument is. Perhaps this explains why his acting, in this beautifully edited film, comes over as so believable and so powerful. As in , these antagonists are moralists who feel the need to treat those who look different than them into easy targets. That he heard this from Cassio himself. Still, this energetic, uneven film has much to recommend it, from ornate costumes and Venetian scenery to some fine acting in supporting roles. Even after winning the Palme d'Or at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival, it failed to open in America until 1955, and since then has been seen only rarely, in shabby 16mm prints. However, her father is displeased by this secret ceremony and he warns Othello that if she can deceive her own father then she may one day do the same to him.
Large portions of the voice tracks have also been changed between the prints, and I prefer the American film in this regard as well. . Therefore, it would be a flawed but very good Shakespeare, but a worse auteur film. When Welles shoots the first scene between Othello and Desdemona, he chooses Venice, a traditionally romanticized city, to emphasize the early attraction between them. Othellos undoing is sexual jealousy. To be honest, it depends upon the viewer.
When Welles shoots the first scene between Othello and Desdemona, he chooses Venice, a traditionally romanticized city, to emphasize the early attraction between them. Unseen, Iago and Roderigo cry out to Brabanzio that his daughter Desdemona has been stolen by and married to Othello, the Moor. Spheeris presents these perspectives and acts as realities of everyday life. First of all, I would like to say that Laurence Fishburne's performance as Othello did not impress me. There is poetry in that New Jersey warehouse; remember that Charles Foster Kane was headed for just such a place in search of his own childhood, the night he met Susan Alexander. Phifer has the title role in Brad Kaaya's adaptation. Branagh's seductively colloquial performance, this time the character's poisonous nature is revealed in full.
There are many excellent minor performances in the movie also, Michael Maloney as Rodrigo and Anna Patrick as Emilia to name but two. As a result, the physical geographic movement of the play represents much more than a simple backdrop; it serves to exemplify symbolically the battle between good and evil among the characters Othello, Desdemona, and Iago. In a word, the performance is understated, and made far more impressive by Fishburne's extremely intelligent interpretation than it otherwise would have been. His palpable pain seems as much from wrestling with the text even drastically slashed as from his doubts about his wife. We're committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees—so if you like what we do, please consider becoming a Slant patron: You can also make a donation via. Desdemona wakes and attempts to plead with Othello. In Cyprus the following day, two gentlemen stand on the shore with Montano, the governor of Cyprus.