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Othello

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Othello (Movie - 1995)

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
performer:
Kenneth Branagh, Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, Michael Maloney
director:
Oliver Parker
genre:
Drama

We gave it a B

In today’s entertainment marketplace, the fact that a movie ends up competing with about a million videos — many of whose covers promise a bedroom scene — hasn’t been lost on the producers of this adaptation of a 400-year-old play known for its poetry. So in this Othello there is newly graphic proof — both on the box and in the film — of the fatal hunger the Moor and Desdemona share for one another (they do make a lovely couple). But given the tale of deceit, intrigue, and bloodshed that accompanies the lovemaking, the film seems less smarmy than simply explanatory. Laurence Fishburne’s restraint in the title role also elevates matters. Inhabiting a lower plane is Kenneth Branagh’s Iago. It’s not just that his character is a snake — it’s that Branagh is a smug smarty-pants who thinks the world of his acting abilities. I’d rather watch gratuitous sex anytime. B

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