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Cirque du Soleil show:

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Zebras who perform the cadre (aerial frame) act are associated with this show the way the Red Bird is with Mystère, in part because two of them (a male-female pair) are recurring minor characters.
  • Hype Backlash: Huge reputation that goes beyond Las Vegas + extremely expensive tickets ($100+ for the obstructed view seats) = this trope for some viewers.

The film O

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: If you think about it, Hugo's Freudian Excuse in this version could in fact make him less sympathetic than intended. He seems himself as a "Well Done, Son!" Guy - yet his father does pay him attention and acknowledges when he does well in school. Duke is in actuality looking out for Odin - who has no strong parental figures and is alone at the school. So Hugo is just jealous in an extremely petty way. And if he despises that his father favors a black guy over him...
  • Applicability: Roger Ebert felt that changing the protagonist's name so that his initials were OJ had some parallels to O.J. Simpson.
  • Broken Base: The film is quite divisive amongst the other 'Shakespeare in high school' adaptations in the 90s. Some feel that the Setting Update works better for the comedies (10 Things I Hate About You, Get Over It) and updating a tragedy doesn't have quite the same effect (as 2000's Hamlet was not set in a high school, and William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet embraced stylism to translate the melodrama). Others however found it to be a very faithful adaptation that translated the text to its new setting quite well - and made some powerful statements about race, sexuality and prejudice.
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  • Evil Is Sexy: Iago is frequently subject to this interpretation in modern productions. With Hugo being played by Josh Hartnett, this take is no exception.
  • Fair for Its Day: Jason and Michael calling Rodger a faggot is meant to be a Kick the Dog moment, and in fact the display of homophobia makes Rodger look more sympathetic.
  • Franchise Original Sin: It was noted that any 'unrealistic' plot elements such as Odin suddenly being willing to kill Desi after thinking she was cheating, or the Exact Eavesdropping were in the original play. The stolen scarf comes straight from the play, although it made more sense in Shakespeare's day.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Emily seems unusually prejudiced against Odin for no real reason...then you realise she's probably had Hugo subtly whispering in her ear trying to discredit him for the sake of his plan.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • The film became this while it was in production. The climax involving a gun going around at school led to the release being delayed for two years after Columbine.
    • The scene involving Odin strangling Desi brings to mind the famous final scene of Get Out (2017).
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Josh Hartnett at the time was reeling from Pearl Harbor - a comparison that was drawn in reviews of this film. But it turns out he makes for a good Iago figure, completely nailing his trustworthy facade and making it believable why people would be fooled by him.
    • Mekhi Phiffer's best known role up to this point was playing The Scrappy in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Here he does an excellent job at conveying Odin's loving, nurturing side and making that evolve into his paranoia as Hugo's manipulation gets in his head. His delivery of the speech towards the end is heart breaking.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Odin's declaration of love to Desi, making her a ring out of an elastic band as a mock proposal. She's stunned but after a beat, smiles and kisses him. This version definitely emphasises that Othello and Desdemona were genuinely in love.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This marked the second modernised Shakespeare film that Julia Stiles had starred in after 10 Things I Hate About You (which is The Taming of the Shrew). While this one was on the shelf, she starred in a third - a modernised version of Hamlet. She'd also later star in a production of Twelfth Night.
  • Hollywood Homely: Rodger is presented as an outcast that has no friends, and treated as repulsive and ugly. Elden Hensen looks pretty much the same as the rest of the handsome guys at the school - only wearing baggy clothes and being slightly chubbier.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Although Roger is happily taking part in Relationship Sabotage, he's still just as much a pawn of Hugo as the others. Not to mention he gets beaten up twice, even losing a pint of blood the second time around.
  • Narm:
    • After Michael has been benched from the team, Coach sweeps everything off his desk in a rage that looks far too forced and rehearsed to seem genuine.
    • After Desi's Awesome Moment of defending herself to Odin, she adds "I've always been straight with you" - which is like a weak exclamation mark that wasn't really needed.
  • Nightmare Fuel: When Odin and Desi have sex, Odin starts picturing her doing it with Michael, and gets far more aggressive. Desi asks him to stop, and he instead goes harder, resulting in her screaming in pain.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Desdemona is a polarising character in Othello - one who is often overlooked or downgraded in favor of the back-and-forth between Othello and Iago. Her character was getting a revamp in the 20th century, starting with Maggie Smith's Silk Hiding Steel performance in the 1960s and likewise Irene Jacob putting more fire and sexuality in the 1995 film version. Here she is still as kind and innocent as she was in the text, while also being fiery, passionate and sexual without being pigeonholed into My Girl Is Not a Slut.
  • Squick: We're treated to a scene of Hugo getting injected with steroids.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In the scene where Desi and Emily discuss the Questionable Consent encounter between Desi and Odin, Desi deflects Emily's assertion that it sounds like rape by asking Emily whether she would be reacting the same if Odin was white, which Emily, judging by her reaction, seems to realize she quite possibly wouldn't. But Emily is also right that what Odin did is seriously not okay and could qualify as rape; even if Desi is correct, then Emily's problem is that she would give a white boy a pass, not that she's not giving Odin one.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Pretty much all of the climax. Odin actually strangles Desi, Hugo shoots Rodger and Emily, and Odin realises he got manipulated by his best friend. Adding to the tragedy is that we see the reactions of Duke and Desi's father as they are given the news. The latter is there to see his daughter's body brought out.
    • Odin's final speech as well. A black teenager with a history of drug usage murdering his white girlfriend, he begs everyone there to know that he was set up entirely by Hugo. The sad thing is, knowing the media, that side of the story probably won't be told.
    "Somebody needs to tell the god damn truth!"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Building up the character of Desdemona sadly results in a downgrading of Emilia. This version's Emily lacks a lot of her source material's better moments - including her famous speech calling out the double standards between cheating men and cheating women.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Coupled with the above leaves Emily looking less sympathetic than intended. Granted she's probably dealing with Hugo's manipulation just like anyone else, but this film downplays the abusive undertones to their relationship, and gives Desi a scene where she highlights a Double Standard that Emily might not judge a white boyfriend as harshly as she does Odin. And in the lost handkerchief scene, she sees that things are clearly getting tense between Odin and Desi and doesn't think it'd be a good idea to mention that she took the scarf? In the play it's a little more justified, since she's just a maid and would be realistically afraid to speak out of turn to her mistress's husband or speak against her own. But this makes it look as though Emily is unnaturally prejudiced towards Odin. It's not quite Adaptational Villainy, as the film still retains her coming out and busting Hugo towards the end.
  • The Woobie: Good God, Desi. A sweet girl who sincerely loved her boyfriend that just becomes a pawn in Hugo's manipulations. In her last moments she even believes things are going to be okay between her and Odin.

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