Directed by Oliver Parker
Starring Laurence Fishburne as Othello, Irene Jocob as Desdemona and Kenneth Branagh as Iago
Matthew Ignoffo (firstname.lastname@example.org) Eatontown, NJ, USA
Date: 3 August 1998
Shakespeare would have been pleased While maintaining the location and time period of the original play, this film gives us a much clearer insight into Othello as a character and as a story than many of the supposedly more important versions. The dialogue is trimmed to what is essential, the settings are atmospheric, and the cast is great. You will never forget the story after you see this version.
Quoted from IMDB
APPEALING TO THE MODERN AUDIENCE, February 22, 2001
Reviewer: Erika Wolfe (see more about me) from Reykjavik, Iceland
Modern day treatments of Shakespeare are risky business. Shakespeare's pre-eminent interpreter in the modern day is Kenneth Branagh, and although he was not the director of this excellent version of Othello, he played the most meaty and pivotal role of Iago, the pretended friend of the tragic hero, Othello. Branagh sinks his teeth heartily into the role and does not let go. Laurence Fishburne effectively plays the ill-fated Othello with force but somehow does not quite muster the intensity and insane jealousy of his character. The beautiful French actress Irene Jacob portrays Othello's bride Desdemona, whom fate has condemned to an untimely end thanks to Iago's conniving and Othello's blind loyalty and trust in Iago. Jacob plays a very sweet and innocent Desdemona, but her command of English and her accent make her a bit hard to bear in this role. I was pleased with the choice of Fishburne for this role because Othello is supposed to be African. In a version I watched in high school Anthony Hopkins was cast in the role of Othello, and while he conveyed the appropriate rage and jealousy and blind passion for Othello, he was hideously costumed in face paints, which really seemed over the top. This version is superior if for no other reason than that.
Quoted from Amazon Customer Reviews