Saturday, March 31, 2007

Othello Film (Raving Reviews)

I finally got around to watching Othello last night. I was going to watch it the evening before I met with the discussion group, but life happened and I didn't get to watch it then. Afterward, I didn't really feel that excited to see it, because I had watched a program that featured some English professors discussing Othello, and also had some scenes in order to show the audience what scene exactly they were talking about. Well, it wasn't even a real movie mind you, but I still got the chills when Othello murdered Desdemona, and it haunted me later on. So anyway, I sort of felt that maybe I better not watch the movie, because of this first reaction. I kept the film around though, if for nothing else then that it is starring Kenneth Branaugh as Iago, and he is my favourite Shakespearean actor.
Well, am I ever glad that I did watch it! It was suburb; the costuming, the set, the acting, everything. I even feel like now I understand the character Emilia, and why she gave Iago the handkerchief, because of how they did the scene where she gives it to him (this was a real problem for me before.)
Branaugh's Iago is brilliant. It was amazing to see how he would be so caring, and human when talking with someone, and then a second later, when looking at the viewer his eyes would completely change, like he was another person, or rather, another creature. Very creepy indeed.
The murder scene wasn't so bad however, and I was very glad for that, because I was dreading it. Too often those things are too gory and graphic nowadays. I really enjoyed how the director chose to portray certain things like how Iago comes to the decision of what he is going to do to ruin Othello. He was playing with chess pieces. I thought that this was very poetic, considering that it really was like only a game to him. Also at one point Iago is watching Desdimona and Cassio speaking though the refection on his knife; oh, the poetry! I just can't get over how good this production is. I actually really want to see it again now, so that I can revel in the finer details.

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