othello_fishburneI finally saw the Laurence Fishburne/Kenneth Branagh version of Othello. It was extremely sexy, I’ll give it that. The woman who played Emilia really knew her verse and was a joy to listen to. Predictably Desdemona was all emotion and a lot less craft. I found her final speeches rough. Branagh was Branagh, Fishburne was chewing a little scenery but in a really fun way. I like the way he gets the bluff and bluster of the Big Man On Campus that Othello is.

I waffle over the screenplay. I haven’t studied it extensively so I don’t know where exactly it’s hacked up. I tend to be skeptical of any screenplay that inserts a lot of non-verbal scenes and allows actors (Dear Ken, Quit grandstanding. xoxo) to dismantle the meter in the name of emotion. Shakespeare gives you all the backstory, all the stage direction, you need. Don’t bother reinventing the wheel because you think he left something out. He didn’t. Again, very pretty movie, though.

It didn’t grab me but I’m glad I spent the two hours. I did mention it was super sexy, right?


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