The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.
Review by The Little Songbird @IMDb:
I have always loved the poetry and intensity of Shakespeare’s dialogue in Othello, and I have also found the play one of his more dramatically concise ones. This Othello from Russia is excellent, and very interesting as well. It is handsome to look at, the photography flows nicely and the locations are splendid. The symbolic palette to emphasise Othello’s contrasts between physical and temperamental is also interestingly used. The film is smartly written and intelligently adapted and it is directed beautifully by Sergei Yutkevitch. The story is on the most part compelling though I did think Othello and Desdemona’s relationship was on the underdeveloped side and I was in two minds as whether the decision to downplay Othello’s increasing rage worked, in a way it made the relationship between Othello and Iago convincing but at the same time this side to Othello is a big part of the play and character, to downplay it made the jealousy angle less intense than it ought to be. What the story does do wonderfully is put more emphasis on the corruption of Othello’s nobility by Iago’s scheming. The whole false confidante(like when the two coo like turtle-doves in one scene) and manipulation of Othello is very well-executed here. The final scene is also very moving. The performances are very good, the best being the superbly scheming Iago of Andrei Popov. Sergei Bondarchuk is not quite in the same league as Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier but still makes for a handsome and commanding Othello, while Irina Skobtseva’s Desdemona is appropriately delicate and affecting. All in all, excellent on the whole. 8/10 Bethany Cox
1.94GB | 1 h 43 min | 765×574 | mkv