Film Reviw of Othello (1995)

Topics: Othello, Iago, Laurence Fishburne Pages: 5 (1853 words) Published: April 28, 2013
I have chosen to do a review of the film adaptation of Othello. In this review, one will find a concise description of the movie along with theatrical review of the film which includes an evaluation of it as well.

The film Othello directed by Oliver Parker was based on the play by the playwright William Shakespeare. The film was produced in the year 1995. The movie starts with Roderigo and Iago talking about the hidden marriage between Desdemona and Othello and devises a plan to tell Desdemona’s father Brabantio of their marriage. Iago does this because he has hatred for Othello because he gave Cassio, an inexperienced soldier, rank of lieutenant over him. Though Brabantio respects Othello as a soldier, he doesn’t see him fit as a husband for his daughter. Before Brabantio can reach Othello, Cassio goes to Othello to tell him that the duke is calling him to send him to Cyprus to fight off a Turkish fleet. After Othello has gotten this news, Brabantio enters and accuses Othello of stealing Desdemona and since Othello was on his way to the duke, Brabantio decides to go along and accuse Othello before the assembled Senate. When they arrive at the Senate, Brabantio accuses Othello of stealing Desdemona with witchcraft, but his plan backfires because the duke Othello convinces the duke that he did not woe Desdemona by witchcraft, but with his war stories. Desdemona then insists to go with Othello and is allowed to and they left for Cyprus that night. At Cyprus, they learn that the Turkish fleet has sunk. Othello’s cargo arrives last, and while Cassio and Desdemona await Othello, they share pleasantries and Iago tells the audience that he will use “as little a web as this hand-holding to ensnare Cassio” (II.i.169) which initially gives one an insight into this character. Then, Othello tells everyone that they saved Cyprus from an invasion and they should celebrate. While celebrating, Iago encourages Cassio to take a drink, which leads to more drinking on Cassio’s path. This causes Cassio to get drunk which ends in Cassio assaulting another soldier. Iago then interrupts Othello and Desdemona’s first night together as a married couple to bring this incident to his attention. This causes Othello to fire Cassio due to his behaviour. Iago then encourages Cassio to ask Desdemona to speak to Othello about giving him his job back. This is also when Iago misleads Othello by telling him that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. At first, Othello doesn’t believe Iago but Iago puts ideas into his head and Othello then believes him. Othello gets a seizure picturing Desdemona and Cassio together. Iago uses this to his benefit. This causes Othello to treat Desdemona harshly. He embarrasses her in front of all the soldiers and the Dukes of Cyprus. He then sends her off to her room to wait for him. There, her servant Emilia, also Iago’s wife, gives her a bath. She brings to the attention of Emilia that she keeps singing a song of death that she knows. Emilia then leaves her sleeping and Othello then walks in. Othello sees her sleeping and decides to kill her for if he cannot have her, no man cannot. When he has killed her, Emilia then walks in and tells Othello that Desdemona never cheated on her and that her husband is vindictive and lies. He then also kills Emilia because she was going to report him. Feeling guilty he then kills himself because he could not live with these deaths on his conscience. In the end, Iago is put in jail for his wrong doings and Othello and Desdemona are dropped together in the sea as part of tradition for lovers.

This movie based on the Shakespeare play Othello, the strengths and weaknesses of the performance will be further examined in this review. These strengths were illustrated in terms of the audiences understanding of the movie, the actor’s performances, the setting of the movie and costuming whereas the weaknesses were lighting and props. The acting in this movie was commendable, the most accurate...
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