The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0153  Wednesday, 23 January 2002

From:           Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Jan 2002 05:22:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0128 PBS Othello airing Jan 28 and after
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0128 PBS Othello airing Jan 28 and after

My wife and I saw this at the premiere Boston screening last night. (She
works at WGBH; they were having a special event for donors.)

The script worked for me, because Davies has realized that the material
is altogether viable as an episode of a modern TV cop drama. (Think NYPD
BLUE in London.) Altogether I found it intriguing and particularly
strong in the final "act," though there were a couple of hiccups along
the way.

My big complaint: Christopher Eccleston as Iago (sorry, Jago) looks
about as "honest" as Hannibal Lecter. This is true, I'm afraid, from the
beginning of the film to the end. Such a flaw, when combined with a plot
that positions Jago as John Othello's mentor (and provides the villain
with a reasonably clear motivation), means that the audience is
continually asking two questions that this Othello never seems to

1) "Doesn't this Jago guy look a little dangerous?"

2) "Wouldn't it be wise to assume that Jago, having been passed over for
the job of police commissioner himself, might hold some kind of grudge
against his former prot 

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