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
Freddie Prinze Jr. was considered for the role of Hugo. See more »
When Odin and Hugo are in Hugo's room talking about Mike and Desi, the jacket hanging on the bed changes positions. 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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Tim Blake Nelson trying his hand at directing decided to tackle a classic Shakespeare play, "Othello". With the help of his adapter, Brad Kaaya, they transferred Venice to South Carolina with mixed results. Mr. Nelson, being an actor himself, got great readings from his mostly young cast.
Bringing Shakespeare to locations other than where the plays were set, presents an unusual challenge for whoever undertakes the risk. In this case, the action occurs in a small prep school in South Carolina where the emphasis is thrown to the basketball team and its star.
Odin James, the role based on Othello, the Moor of Venice, is the main attraction at the basket ball court. Odin, who is black has fallen in love with Desi, or Desdemona, the fair young woman who loves him in return. When Odin selects Michael to be his right hand man at the court, Hugo, the envious son of Coach Goulding, resents being bypassed and begins to plot what to do to get back at O.
The film follows the machinations of Hugo who succeeds in creating a doubt in O by poisoning his mind with tales of deceit and betrayal from both Michael and Desi. That makes Hugo scheme a plan to get rid of his rival, but he can't see what his lies have done to O's soul and the ultimate tragedy this careless young man will bring to his family and to the school.
Mikhi Phifer is good as the tormented Odin, the star of the game who is going to go far because of his natural talent for the game. Julia Stiles, an intelligent presence in anything she does, is effective as the young Desi, whose only fault is having fallen in love with Odin. Josh Harnett, on the other hand, seems to be miscast as Hugo, who is the Iago of the real play. Andrew Keegan is good as Michael. Martin Sheen, John Heard, Rain Phoenix and Elden Henson, are the most prominent figures in the cast.
Tim Blake Nelson shows an affinity for directing. Maybe his new projects will give him an opportunity in which to shine better.
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