Wednesday, 8 May 2013


image from here

"My name is Gladiator."


Maximus - a much loved Roman general -  is a favourite of emperor Marcus Aurelius, who is slain by his own son for naming the general as his successor.

Maximus manages to escape execution but his family is soon murdered on the orders of the new emperor. Shortly after, he falls into slavery and becomes a formidable gladiator, fighting for Proximo.

The former general then swears to take revenge on Commodus and fulfil his promise to Marcus Aurelius that Rome was to return to the Senate.

The might of Rome

Gladiator is one of those movies that pull the crowds and keep them on the edge of their seat: a gripping story with stellar performances and breathtaking battle scenes.

While a small number of viewers may frown upon its historical inaccuracies, the British accents (did you expect Latin?) or its predictable end, Gladiator rises above all that.

This movie is not just entertainment for the crowds. It is also a fascinating depiction of Roman times seen through the eyes of a general called Maximus, a soldier (yet a peaceful farmer at heart) who goes to hell and back.


There are a number of themes in the movie embodied by its different characters.

Maximus represents honour, loyalty and justice whereas Commodus's unbridled ambition brings out the worst in a human being to the extent that he has no scruples about killing his own father. His incestuous behaviour towards his sister is also apparent throughout the movie.

After the death of Marcus Aurelius, Lucilla's life can only be expected to be one of misery and fear. Even though she would make a better leader than her brother (in the words of Marcus Aurelius: "If only you had been born a man, what a Caesar you would have made!"), the fact that she is a woman means that she will never have any real power. With her son as the only reason to be strong, she knows that the future of Rome and her own happiness depends on whether Maximus is able to dethrone Commodus.

Proximo is a character who lives to profit from the combination of violence and death. Although apparently an insensitive, moneygrabbing sort of man, he is nevertheless a man of principle willing to sacrifice his own life for a good cause. As he puts it, "Ultimately, we're all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how, but we can decide how we meet that end in order that we are remembered... as men."

Spirituality and the afterlife are also themes running through the movie. We see Maximus praying to his ancestors and anticipating a happy reunion with his murdered family. Likewise, Juba - a character from a different ethnic and cultural background - tells Maximus that he believes in the great beyond where he will be waiting for his own family.


Gladiator is an epic movie that will keep you glued to the screen. From the corruption and scheming of the senators to the violence and death of the arena, you will be rooting for Maximus to the bitter end.

Have you seen "Gladiator"?


  1. Nice review!


    1. Thanks.

      I love great movies (like most people) and will write a review whenever I have enough time to do it.