Movie review: Gladiator
The movie Gladiator is set in the Roman community to show the competition of power that existed in the ancient Roman kingdoms. It is used as a communication tool to inform people of the conditions that were present in the Roman community and the powers of the emperors. The movie unfolds with Marcus Aurelius as the Caesar of the Roman Empire. He was a just and wise leader who loved his people and advocated for good leadership to the Roman people. The emperor’s son, Commodus, has however a retrospective character to his father, which triggered him to kill his father. He was jealous and dishonest unlike his father who despised corruption and hatred amongst the people living in the community. Marcus Aurelius projected a plan to allow his friend, Maximus, to take over the leadership after him. He did not advocate for his son Commodus to take over because he knew that he could not establish a good leadership as that which Maximus could . When Commodus heard of the plan, he did not hesitate but forged a plan to kill his father. Marcus Aurelius was secretly killed by his son who claimed that that his father was sick before his sudden demise. Maximus did not believe in what Commodus said about his father’s death and started a rebellion against Commodus. Commodus was very fast in ensuring that he was marginalized from the community. He was later sold as a slave where he perfected his skills in gladiator games. He later came as a gladiator to avenge for all the ills done to him by his friend’s son . It was after some time when he perfected his skills in gladiator games and that he came back to the Roman Empire to fight Commodus. Fortunately enough, he was able to overthrow Commodus and took over his incumbency. It was through this way that he was able to take over as his confidant, Marcus Aurelius, had proposed. The battle between Commodus and Maximus marked the beginning of a new kingdom characterized by freedom unlike the overthrown kingdom. Social, political and economical evils like corruption were terminated in the new empire – a factor depicted the presence of an apparent better leadership than the overthrown one. Commodus has been used in the movie to depict the unfair, jealous and immoral leaders present in the ancient Roman Empire. The storyline of the movie therefore evolves around the life experienced by Romans and their leaders during ancient days. It also evolves around the passion of gladiator games in the community; hence, the title Gladiator can be used as the main theme of the movie because the presence of a gladiator in the movie changes the life of many characters in the story. It is obvious and accurate to say that the movie can be characterized as having a fictional setting because it complements facts on ancient Roman ruling . This is evident in the movie because of the ancient ambience portrayed by the design in the movie. The entire story talks about how the Roman Empire experienced a series of corrupt empires before its redemption. This is apparent in the story because corruption and many other evils are seen to prevail in the Roman Empire. The character Commodus is used by the director or producer of the movie to pass a message of corruption and injustice that was inherent in Rome. The fact that he kills his father in order to take over his leadership shows how he was greedy, jealous and corrupt. This is because he did not want Maximus to take over the kingdom but wanted the position for himself. He uses all possible means to ensure that he rules after killing his father. Maximus is carried away to be killed but manages to escape death by killing his would-be killers. He elopes to rescue his wife and sons but unfortunately, they have already met their deaths by the killers. Injustice is seen where his family is killed innocently while unfairness can be demonstrated where Maximus’ position is taken as the next emperor after Caesar’s death. It is therefore vivid that Marcus Aurelius’ succession brought about the death and battles that are depicted in the movie. The storyline of the movie has a historical background of ancient Rome. This is characterized by the individuals depicted in the movie. A villain is used to symbolize the worst emperors in the history of leadership in Rome. In the movie, Commodus’ character traits do not differ with those of the real Rome emperor. The emperor was said to be unpredictable and dangerous, the same way the character Commodus was. This is evident when Commodus kills his father in order to deny Maximus the opportunity of becoming the new emperor. History is also depicted by the naming of the character, Connie Nielsen, an ancient astronaut on a mission to Mars, who is Commodus sister and Maximus lover . This shows that people have been used in the movie to give reputation to different characters. The director Scott was out to draw ancient Rome in the minds of the viewers. Rome is said to have a beautiful aura portrayed by the gladiators although some of the fights are seen to cause disorientation and confusion. The Coliseum is created in the minds of the viewers hence the movie is likely to give historical teachings to viewers. People living in the current generation are able to learn more on existence of the Coliseum and gladiator games in the past. This is educative as it teaches more on the social, political and economic history of ancient Rome. The movie is also used by the director to show that power is achieved through controlling the crowd. This means that people are able to attain leadership through influence . This is shown by the support of different people or parties in a gladiator battle. People could shout and encourage their favorite fighter, a factor that made him work hard towards overcoming his opponent. This is evident in the movie when Commodus is overthrown by Maximus. People on Commodus’ side cheered and shouted at him to win and so did Maximus’ support group. Maximus fought towards winning the fight between him and his opponent, Commodus, beating him at the battle. After overthrowing him, Maximus went further to take his lover, Commodus sister and Commodus wife. Historically, the movie enables people or viewers know more about Coliseum and the main aim of the game. The movie shows that people could easily lose their leadership by losing a battle in the Coliseum. It is therefore a good example that depicts the bestial nature of the people who lived in ancient Rome. It is through the movie that people are able to tell more about the ancient lifestyle of the people living in Rome at that time. The movie also depicts the character of ancient or historical figures in Rome. Heroic figures are seen as wise people who overcome the efforts of their antagonists – who are referred to as villains. Maximus was a wise man who used his wisdom and skills to overcome his opponent, Commodus . He did not have an army that comprised of many people but his skill in Gladiator games made him achieve the best in his battle with Commodus. He used his skills to take over the Roman Empire as a witty and honest leader. On the other hand, Commodus used the wrong means to take over his father’s leadership. He is portrayed as the villain who ended up losing in his deals. He was overthrown by Maximus because of his poor leadership and lack of management skills. Historically, the movie portrays the necessity of knowledge and skills in one’s leadership . It is beyond doubt that ancient leaders were full of knowledge and leadership skills. It is also vivid that leaders could emerge from any community or social setting as long as they had the desired qualities of a leader. Maximus was sold as a slave to Proximo. He later emerged in the Roman Empire after exercising his wisdom and skills to overthrow Commodus. Commodus on the other hand lost his leadership title to his opponent because he did not have skills and knowledge as a leader. In conclusion, the movie Gladiator is used historically to give a clear picture of ancient Rome and the people who lived in it. In conjunction to this, the movie can be used to show the social, political and economic status of ancient Rome. Bibliography Laporte. Gladiator. Montpellier: Fata Morgana. 1980. Shebuev. Gladiator. Moskva: “Vostok”.1923. Wylie. Gladiator. New York, Shakespeare House. 1951.
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