American action adventure from 2000.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson
Bechdel test: Fail
General Maximus leads the Roman army to victory over the Germanic tribes and conquers the empires last enemies. Now there is peace. Unfortunately he is caught up in the politics of Emperors and Senators, and seems to loose everything that matters to him.
I have seen “Gladiator” before and was is awesome, then and now. I have the feeling I just watched a play written for stage by a great writer, only; all the action and war that often happens off stage was included. The drama and personal relations between characters effect a whole empire, and both the emotional development of characters and their resulting actions make sense. I was taken on a journey and it feels like a commentary on life and human character.
The look and feel of various locations in the Roman empire (modern day Germany, Spain, Italy and maybe Morocco) gave a feel and mood to each place that was unique and seemed appropriate for the time (180A.D.). The places gave the impression of being vibrant and living without giving a sense that the movie makers wanted to show off knowledge or cool props and buildings.
The actors were all marvelous but in particular Maximus (Russel Crowe), Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) were well played. The part of the story that can be interpreted to deal with human nature centers around these three characters and the story became powerful by these solid performances in these parts. (Though I was unconvinced by Maximus in one scene. The one where he speaks to his troops in Germany early in the movie. All the rest was excellent.)
I have started to notice how the camera goes from a large shot over a whole situation in to a focus on the person or persons the scene is about, and in this movie those openings of scenes were very beautiful. They also served their function well, and explained were the characters are.
The music was grandiose and befitting of the grand story. The pompous nature of much of the music accented the characters pompous nature and the central role they had in this enormous nation.
I loved watching “Gladiator” again and the quote below still rings in my ears.
Below here there be spoilers.
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
I would recommend this movie to any adult, with emphasis on adult. There is quite a bit of raw violence and any potential viewers should be aware of this before they decide to watch “Gladiator”. But if anyone does decide to watch the movie, don’t be afraid to have expectations, it is amazing.
Over to you
If you’ve recently seen “Gladiator” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.
23 movies down. 342 to go.
If you want to get “Gladiator” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?
Tomorrow’s movie is “12 angry men“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.
Until next time; live long and prosper.