copyright © Jedo Dre 2011
What is cool about Gladiator (besides a whole lot of things) is that it should not
Gladiator is not the most historically accurate film. After all, they put a whole lot of story conveniently into the events for which there are very few sources for reference. And of course the armor that the soldiers are wearing is not going to be perfectly accurate, and of course everything is pumped up for excitement’s sake. But it actually does a great deal right and looks genuine. The politics get smart toward the middle of the film. This film has depth and at the same time it is not hard to understand.
Disguised under all the pomp and depth there is hidden a fairly typical formula for
an action movie with a good and a bad guy, a family member in danger, a personal
loss, a cheesy honor speech, and of course a mano-
Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus is not the protagonist but is arguably the main character of the film. The "evil" in his character is so refined, deep, believable and even relatable. The cowardice is palpable. He feels like a complex character that creates a good contrast to Russel Crowe's Gladiator, the simpleton soldier with his honor, love and anger issues. Oliver Reed as the gladiator owner was also really good and expressive.
The camera work is excellent. The busy sets are filled with good lighting and shots are properly populated, with good atmosphere from all the various fires, mist and snow. Computer generated effects are unfortunately used quite a bit, as the makers would have had a hard time showing the Roman scale without it and yes, some of these effects look dated, but those shots are not shown for long and overall it works.
The soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer is actually not the best if you listen to
it on its own but works really well in this movie, especially in battles. It brings
the necessary gravity to everything. Speaking of listening to the soundtrack on its
own, do try "The Might of Rome" when visiting a large city -
The movie is totally rewatchable, and in fact, the second time may reveal many new nuances in the dialogue you may have missed the first time, especially if you are watching the extended addition (which you should).
As time passed after its release, this movie was increasingly becoming a hype. Internet
memes were being made from it. People kept asking me to make Maximus' armor for a
game. This plebeian hype made me increasingly dislike this film by extension, but
the fact is that this is a very well-
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