Kenneth Branagh is an expert at making Shakespeare accessible to contemporary audiences. Through careful editing and reworking of the Bard’s masterpieces, Branagh has brought us three of the Master’s works. The audience was enthralled after screening his latest, OTHELLO. Most school children know the story of how the Venetian Republic employed the services of OTHELLO the Moor (Laurence Fishburne) to defeat the barbaric Turks. OTHELLO, in secret, weds Desdemona much to the chagrin of her father. Iago (Branagh) thinks that Othello has slept with his wife, Emelia, and sees an opportunity to get revenge. When Iago is finished, Othello is full of jealous rage and murders Desdemona, Rodrigo, a former paramour of Desdemona, is murdered, Iago kills Emelia and is wounded, and Othello commits suicide.
In the midst of this descent into jealousy, there are many impassioned references to God, salvation and repentance. However, the story is a tragic morality tale and the undercurrents of deceit, manipulation, conspiracy, and racism are intended to stir the audience. Othello is a strong potion which may cause many to reexamine their desires, but, in the process, it presents a much too vivid portrait of jealousy featuring violence and nudity.
(B, C, LL, VVV, NN, SS, A, M) Moral worldview with strong Christian references to prayer & repentance; 2 exclamatory "Oh God's" and 17 vulgarities (most often "whore"); intense violence without gore including stabbings, sword fights & suffocation; brief female nudity at a distance, upper female nudity & partial male nudity; husband & wife copulate, vivid imagined fornication scenes, implied fornication at revelry; drinking to excess; and, jealousy, revenge, deceit, anger, & prejudice