i have this list i’ve been working on that’s like a wannabe wooden pyramid of success and it has like a dozen attributes (balance, selflessness, honesty, perspective, etc.) that define a good person and then some ways to achieve those attributes (things like travel, hard work, volunteerism, and reading shakespeare/aesop). the theory is that if a reasonably intelligent person studies a story like othello or romeo and juliet they’ll glean certain immutable and fundamental lessons like trust, communication, etc. there’s a good reason shakespeare and aesop have stayed so relevant for so long.
here we have a re-imagining of othello that came on the heels of 10 things i hate about you and romeo + juliet. they’re all good versions of classic stories. i’m sure some will cry heresy, but i don’t have any problem with updating a classic so long as it’s well done; and this one is. tim blake nelson directs and strikes a good balance of realism and the over-the-top, theatrical quality that goes with shakespeare’s stuff. it’s heightened reality, but it works, at least in part because the setting is high school which seems like the beginning and end of life when you’re in it.
there are some uncomfortable and poignant scenes in the film which add good drama and the script does a nice job of adding some linguistic flourishes to keep it somewhat shakespeare-esque; again, with the modern twist. good film. maybe it taught a few teenagers to trust but verify or not keep secrets or keep their jealousy under control or…