Analysis of the film "Othello" by Oliver Parker.

2015 Words9 Pages
The film Othello by director Oliver Parker, is based on the Shakespearean tragedy based on the insecurities of one man, being played upon leading to his undoing at the hands of the one he most trusts, ?honest Iago?. In this essay, we look at how this age old play is dealt with by the medium of film, reviewing the director?s ability to provide an effect caused by insight into the play?s mechanization and interpretation of such affected by visual mastery. This analysis focuses mainly on techniques and devices used to achieve this and their effect.

The effectiveness of Parker?s choice of actors and actresses needs to be first questioned. Cognizant of the character Othello's empty un-reflective nature, he filled the void with sex and
…show more content…
The devilish Iago grasps a red hot brand and smears his hands with soot, then places his blackened hand on the lens of the camera, with the effect of a black-out, saying "So will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net, That shall enmesh 'em all"

Thus Iago appears as the absolute master of the gaze, of seeing, hiding and showing things at will; in so doing, he controls the physical and mental movement of characters, as well as the audience whose vision he may aid or obscure at will. The soot he spreads over the "eye" of the camera also suggests the fact that the characters are overly blind. It also testifies to the fact that as the play progresses, night seems to spread over Cyprus (with literally a growing importance of night scenes) overshadowing all the characters, including the fair Desdemona, who becomes, in Othello's very words, "begrim'd, and black." This furthermore shows Iago as film director, and most of all as god of passageways, with the impression that he steps out of the dramatic universe.

The scheming mastery possessed by Iago is excellently captured and portrayed by the visual devices and symbolic imagery used by the director to make effective his interpretation of Shakespeare?s work. Very important is the use of camera focus, a device Parker liberally utilizes to make up for the scenes from the play he has omitted from the film. He particularly makes use of the technique of

More about Analysis of the film "Othello" by Oliver Parker.

Get Access