Get us Central Casting, pronto. Laurence Fishburne is an actor of no little talent, but he lacks Othello's martial bearing and heroic stature. Meanwhile, doughy mediocrity Kenneth Branagh can't begin to make sense of Iago's motiveless malevolence. Oliver Parker's screen
adaptation is a singularly inept condensation, and his tentative direction only adds to the confusion: Like the base Indian, he threw a pearl away richer than all his tribe. We're perplex'd in the extreme.