Othello (1981)

TV Movie   |  TV-14   |    |  Drama, Romance

Othello (1981) Poster

A general becomes convinced that his wife is having an affair, even though there is no evidence.

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6 April 2017 | Dan1863Sickles
| Bob Hoskins Is The Best Iago Ever!!!
While I agree with a lot of the other reviewers that Anthony Hopkins is a fairly disappointing Othello, Bob Hoskins as Iago is nothing short of spectacular. In every scene he's funny, charismatic, and terrifyingly evil, all at the same time. Iago is a man you can't help but admire, always in control and supremely confident in his abilities even when those around him just see a lovable underling. In the final scenes when the mask is off he becomes even more effective, his glaring hatred seeming to shoot out of his eyes like a deadly laser beam. This is Shakespeare's most evil villain, and the most unconquerable and undefeated. ("I bleed, sir. But not killed!")

Meanwhile poor Hopkins is struggling to seem menacing, but his chubby body and pale complexion make him look more ridiculous than anything else. He has a cultured voice and reads the lines beautifully, but whenever he has to show passion or emotion he just starts shouting and waving his arms wildly, looking more like the Wolf Man than the Moor of Venice. It doesn't help matters that the lady playing Desdemona is more of a stately spinster than nubile ingenue. Personally, I always pictured Audrey Hepburn as the ultimate Desdemona!

One final note: I've never heard of Anthony Pedley, but I really loved how he played poor Rodrigo, a guy who just never has a chance. This is the one character closest to real life, and he's never just a clown even in his most helpless moments. I love how he dies, denouncing Iago and seeing the truth at last.

Poor Othello, but still a great cast and a great play!

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