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Othello (2001)

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:
...
John Othello
...
...
Dessie Brabant
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Michael Cass
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Lulu
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Sinclair Carver
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PC Adey
Allan Cutts ...
PC Stiller
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PC Gaunt
Samantha McDonald ...
Woman in Crowd
Nicholas Gecks ...
Home Secretary
Del Synnott ...
PC Alan Roderick
...
Geoffrey
...
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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Drama

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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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Version of Otello (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Is a crime of passion possible in such a context?
11 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

Othello's story is moved nowadays when prejudices, racisms and all kinds of discriminations are constantly fought. The modern 'Othello' has two guidelines or two focuses: (1) racism and (2)sexual love.

(1)On the one hand Othello proves a rational, humanistic and open attitude against discrimination, (2) on the other hand he questions the 'purity' of his woman, even her purity before her marrying him. It seems a little bit strange that a man that fights prejudices finds hard to accept that his wife had a life before him (although she didn't have much of life, as we find out) and cannot find the wisdom in him to give her the benefit of the doubt.

But we know that Othello must kill Desdemona and a large part of the film focuses on Othello's obsession for her (Desdemona aka Dessie). There needs to be built the kind of love and sexual jealousy that leads to murder. And it is believable, but only if we take it out of the context and we ignore the status of this modern Othello. But if we take into consideration the forward-thinking context of today's story and the leading position of Othello in this context...well, I raise at least one eyebrow looking at Othello's actions.


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