Critic Consensus: Perhaps less than the sum of its parts, Othello is still highly entertaining, and features excellent performances from Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh.
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Critic Reviews for Othello
Mr. Branagh's superb performance...guarantees this film an immediacy that any audience will understand.
Davies has done an admirable job of condensing the sprawling action.
Parker has shown how involving and moving Shakespeare can still be on the screen.
The movie is roughly on the same cinematic level as the Mel Gibson Hamlet, though it tends to get under your skin a little more once it gets rolling.
Audience Reviews for Othello
The evil Iago(Kenneth Branagh) pretends to be friend of Othello(Laurence Fishburn) in order to manipulate him to serve his own end, comes up with a devious plan to suspect that Othello's wife Desdemona(Irene Jacob) of infidelity. Oliver Parker's directorial debut is a bit of a disappointment. The language is so hard to comprehend(unless you are familiar with Shakespear's vocabulary), the cast is kinda distracting(thanks to Jacob since she still sounds French) and Kenneth Branagh as the evil snitch Iago, he mostly does his Woody Allen homage by talking to us in front of the camera. Laurence Fishburn as Othello is kind of on the quiet side since I felt this film wasn't about him but about his jealous friend Lago who wants Othello's power.
Fishburne's Othello has more more money associated with it than Welles' work but it is nonetheless as effective thanks to Laurence himself and a darkly effective Iago played to the hilt by Kenneth Branagh.
this was a great film. not quite the entire original story, but a great film with good acting. the themes in this sory are powerful and the degredation of the likeable othello is dissapointing but interesting to watch.
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