Shakespeare's Othello retold in modern London; racial tension in the police force collides with jealousy and revenge. An officer suspects his new bride of infidelity.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Lulu
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Sinclair Carver
Christopher Fox ...
PC Adey
Allan Cutts ...
PC Stiller
...
PC Gaunt
Samantha McDonald ...
Woman in Crowd
Nicholas Gecks ...
Home Secretary
Del Synnott ...
...
Geoffrey
Tim Faraday ...
Chief Superintendent
Tim Frances ...
Newspaper Editor
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Storyline

This modern crime drama uses the names of the homonymous Shakespeare play's main characters which inspired its plot. White London Metropolitan Police commissioner Sinclair Carver promises to maintain law and order and further racial integration by recruiting and promoting black and Asian officers, but is taped in the lavatory by a tabloid reporter telling his assistant commissioner Ben Jago there is no black with a brain as big as his dick, and is thus forced to resign. When the death of the black Billy Coates in custody causes racial unrest, John Othello, the only authoritative black police officer, manages to prevent riots by pointing to the press and promising to solve the case; the government names him successor to Carver over his friend Jago's head. The ambitious Ben doesn't show his furious disappointment, but must have his revenge. His plots starts by making sure racists harass Othello's white wife Desdemona, so he can have her 'well guarded' by smooth white superintendent ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

28 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scotland Yard-i Othello  »

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Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Jago: It was about love, That's what you've got to understand. Don't talk to me about race, don't talk to me about politics, It was love, simple as that. She loved him as well as she knew how, he loved her more than any man should love a woman. Tragedy, right? No other word for it. I loved him too, you know.
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Connections

Version of Othello (Shakespeare's Globe Theatre) (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What a movie!!!
23 June 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

If there is one thing that this movie proves, than it must be the fact that Shakespeare is of all times and doesn't necessarily need to be situated in 16th century England. All you need is a good writer who is able to convert the story into modern times and that's exactly what Andrew Davies has done.

In this version of "Othello" we see how Ben Jago, destined to become the new commissioner of the London Police Department, is passed by his friend John Othello. Othello got the job because he proved to be a good link between the poor and rebellious parts of the community, who are sick of all the police brutality and the racism, and the police department. But Jago isn't all too happy with the fact that his best friend has 'stolen' his job from him and he decides to make Othello's life a living hell from now on, driving him to despair and horrible acts of jealousy...

I know that there are many people who love Shakespeare the way it was once written and find it a mortal sin to adapt it. Personally I don't have any problem with it. I liked the more or less classical adaptation in the movie "Shakespeare in Love" a lot, but I find this version of Othello at least as good as that other movie. I guess it is just a matter of taste... What makes this movie so good for me, next to the interesting story, is the acting. Eamonn Walker is really very good as the charismatic John Othello, but it is Christopher Eccleston as the excellently evil and backstabbing Ben Jago that I admire most. Perhaps it has more to do with his role in the movie than I might think at first, but I find his performance wonderful and hope to see more of him soon.

Anyway, despite the fact that so many people seem to hate it for many different reasons, I really liked this movie. Even though some may find it sacrilegious, I hope they will make many more adaptations of Shakespeare's work like this. I give it an 8.5/10


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