Popkorn Junkie

Movie review for the film O starring Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett, and Julia Stiles.
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Note: This film has an R rating.

Junkie Rating:

This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.


Cast and Credits

Tim Blake Nelson 
Mekhi Phifer (Odin James) 
Josh Hartnett
(Hugo Goulding) 
Julia Stiles
(Desi Brable) 
Elden Henson
(Roger Rodriguez) 
Andrew Keegan
(Michael Casio) 
Rain Phoenix
John Heard
(Dean Brable) 
Anthony Johnson
Martin Sheen
(Coach Duke Goulding)  


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The original motion picture sound track

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      If you are familiar with the bard's "othello," then you are aware of the main elements of the plot of "O."  Here, the setting is an American boarding school and the "O" stands for Odin, a star basketball player who is loved by all.  The Iago character is re-named Hugo (for what can only be inexplicable, random reasons).  Hugo is jealous of his friend and teammate, Odin.  He uses a weaker friend and his own girlfriend to wreck Odin's relationship with his girlfriend, Desi.  He plants the seed of distrust and grows some really ugly emotions in Odin.  They plan to murder Desi and the innocent guy whom she is supposedly involved with.  And everything goes haywire.

      At the end of Shakespeare's work, one is left feeling sympathetic toward Othello -- he has wrecked his life and the lives of others, but we have seen the reasons.  At the end of "O," one is maybe just sad to have come to the end of their popcorn.  The performances are stale and the direction is, for the most part, shallow.  Josh Hartnett creates a believable Hugo, but the other characters are confusing and several times elicited laughs from the audience.

      Bits of "O" do not make sense to those not familiar with the original work.  One wonders, "Hey, why is Hugo's girlfriend stealing Desi's scarf?"  Other bits perhaps just do not translate to the new setting.  When Odin and Desi are in a sexual situation, for example, and Odin catches himself in the mirror and then mentally replaces himself with the man he fears Desi has abandoned him for, he appears vain and crazy.  This is not the intended effect.  Audience members laughed out loud.  Some probably because of the direct rip-off mirror technique from earlier reproductions, and some probably because the whole thing looked so, well, silly.

      "O" is not altogether without merit.  However, a much more effective sibling would be the video version of Othello starring Laurence Fisburne.  Rent that one, and in a few months, rent "O."

     -- Liz
( 2 out of 4 pops )


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