Tim Blake Nelson’s film “O”, modernised the original Elizabethan play Othello into a 21st century American film to suite the values and society of the modern audiences. It becomes noticeable in the film that Hugo is always disconnected and shows his deceptiveness through manipulating Odin. Hugo’s family relationship highlights his jealousy for Odin as his own father, who is also the coach of the basketball team, devotes more time and shows only love for Odin rather than his own son.
This is noticeable through the scene when Hugo is having dinner with his parents, the close ups on each one’s faces portrays the awkward atmosphere. The mother’s facial expression portrays the innocence and weak female, whilst the father appears more dominant and confident. The awkwardness between family members show that Hugo is living in a unnatural and unloving environment which causes him to have resentment against Odin for taking his fathers love away. This provides us a reason why Hugo might hate Odin so much.
In contrast, Iago shows jealousy towards Othello, but he is not jealous because of his profession, it is just the fact that a dumber, black person is giving orders to him to do things. Shakespeare emphasis Iago’s hatred for Othello because his simply black and different. We only know that Iago is simply evil and deceptive from the beginning. But, Tim Blake Nelson interprets in a different way by giving us the clue of Hugo’s jealousy thus manipulating the audience to have some sympathy for the antagonist as well.
Also throughout the film, Tim Blake Nelson purposely makes Hugo to be disconnected from others to separate him. This is illustrated in the scene when the basketball team is having a meeting in a room and Hugo is noticeably furthest away from his father and rest of the teammates, crouching near the door by himself. The use of long shot of Hugo represents his disconnection with others as it shows Hugo’s the nearby surroundings to exhibit that no one is sitting near him and thus suggesting that he is separated from others all the time.
This is comparable with the original text and Iago’s disconnectedness with others. The use of soliloquy by Iago throughout the text shows the power of being aside. He purposely separates himself to talk about his deceptive plans to manipulate Othello and, it is apparent that Iago is the only one that has a soliloquy. So it is apparent that Tim Blake Nelson has interpreted the notion of disconnection and applied film techniques to reinforce it.