Tough Coach Duke Goulding leaves nothing untried to lead his almost exclusively white boarding school basketball team, the Hawks, to victory after victory, but his own son Hugo feels his polyvalent technical excellence and tireless efforts -which require using stimulants- are not getting anything like the recognition he deserves, especially when coach gives the best player award to Odin James, the only black teammate, even saying he loves Odin like his own son, who in turn only calls super-rich Michael Cassio to share in the honor. So Hugo, who is liked by everyone, decides to set up the boys who stole his glory, and he knows a cocky adolescent's weak points are his pride and his girl. This Dixie Jago schemes to bring down a black Othello and his Cassio, playing into the poisonous power of jealousy, however badly this also hurts their loved ones and the whole team...Written by
Although released in 2001, the film was actually filmed in 1998. This is the second film in which Julia Stiles appeared to be released three years after it was filmed. She previously appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's Wide Awake (1998), which was actually filmed in 1995. See more »
In the end when Emily is confronting Hugo about telling O that Desi was cheating on him, she is pointing in O's direction with her left hand. In the next shot, she has changed hands and is pointing at Hugo. See more »
All my life I always wanted to fly. I always wanted to live like a hawk. I know you're not supposed to be jealous of anything, but... to take flight, to soar above everything and everyone, now that's living.
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This was generally a good film, well above average but no where near great. It definitely highlights the theme of 'Everything comes full Circle,' which the Title 'O,' implies. It also concentrates on minor themes such as racism and exploits the human emotions of jealousy and love and how it is such a tender thing which can be easily manipulated. It also portrays how dangerous love is ... as we understand that if Odin didn't really love Desi he wouldn't have gone to such extremes when he discovered her 'betrayal.'
Most of the acting was mediocre at best. I am surprised that Julia Stiles (playing Desi Brable) played an important character but had little screen time, her character Desi was also a little nondescript (compared to Shakespeare's version of her character, Desdemona, who is much more interesting and expresses the virtues of goodness and honesty much more effectively). Elden Henson, Andrew Keegan and Rain Phoenix (Roger Rodriguez, Michael Cassio and Emily respectively), playing supporting roles also gave mediocre performances, I found Rain Phoenix especially poor in parts. Mekhi Phifer (Odin James) and Josh Hartnett (Hugo Goulding) give superb performances, both expressing their characters effectively with great skill.
Of course adapting the script from Shakespeare's play would've been difficult but for a better version of Shakespeares' Othello the pace of the film should've been slower and should have concentrated more on the character's and their feelings...this film actually seemed to focus more screentime on action more than it should've...or needed to.
However the tragic tale was efficiently portrayed and extremely well delivered, it's an enjoyable film. The ending was also quite sad and was worthy of the build-up during the film. The tragedy of how Odin was twisted by Hugo into destroying the one thing he truly loved was sickeningly realised. Overall a nice film in its own way.
Watch it! You won't regret it, but in my opinion, some parts of the film could've been much better.
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