Gladiator (2002)

An epic story, with an everlasting effect on the senses.

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I was 8 when I first saw this movie in a pirated DVD. And I hardly paid much attention to the craft except for the gore and action. But with time, this movie grew on me and I now realize that Ridley Scott outdid himself with this legendary story of Roman Empire. Winner of 5 Academy Awards, of the 8 nominations, Gladiator stands as a testament to everything altruistic about making a historic drama.

Plot

General Maximus is the epitome of honor and loyalty in the army of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Commanding the allegiance of the hoard, he has lead Rome to its greatest victories and now there are none left for the challenge. When terminally ill, Emperor Marcus tells Maximus about his plans for making Rome a Republic and giving the power back to people. Restoring the vision and dream, on which the now corrupt empire was built upon. But these plans need Maximus to be the protector of Rome. Butat the king’s much dismay,he declines the offer. His wicked son, Prince Commodus, feeling betrayed by his father’s distrust in him, murders him and sentences Maximus to death. Escaping his death, Maximus returns home and finds his family burnt alive, by the tyrant. A series of trials follow, where and after Maximus is taken in for the Gladiator games. Where he shall stop at nothing till he has won the hearts of the crowd with his ruthless skills and complete his revenge on Commodus. In the kingdom of twisted political corruption and noble lives at the risk of the torment, Maximus stands as the only hope for ensuring the Dream that Rome once was, is realized.

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Likes & Dislikes

With the staggering display of Rome’s ancient glory, the movie has the best of visuals one can expect from a historic war movie. Inspite of the vast storytelling and the characters, their lives and actions are plain and easily understood. Russell Crowe as “Maximus” is flawless and Joaquin Phoenix as the tyrant “Commodus” is stellar. The story instantly grips, living upto the resonating words like Honor, Strength, and Courage. The location, the background score are unmistakable and perfectly synchronize with the moods which follow throughout the narration. Ridley Scott’s style of directing war movies becomes very clear and distinct as the violence, gore, old fashioned fights and the politics of ancient times form a perfect cocktail for senses.

I personally can’t think of anywhere the movie went wrong. But for people looking for action and war, 3 hours of intense historic drama might come off as boring.

What’s My Point?

With a story worth telling a hundred times, Gladiator has never failed to entertain me anytime in the past 14 years. With a lot of subtle things it teaches about life, the movie is visually appealing and mentally rejuvenating. Gladiator will always be cherished as an eternal tale of Honor and Strength.

Body Of Lies

With good thrills and action, comes an obscure depiction of terrorism in the middle-east.

With Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead cast and Russel Crowe as his boss, this movie was a green light for me. Ridley Scott has made his own mark in the Hollywood with some exceptional stories and direction. The director of 1979 Sci-fi blockbuster “Aliens” and 2000’s legendary drama “Gladiator”, churns out a movie on the impending terrorism & war crisis in Iraq and the the immobilizing forces, with certain thrills and realism. Body of Lies.

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Plot

Roger Ferris is a top class CIA agent in a town of Samarra in Iraq. His mission is to gain intelligence on the high profile Islamic terrorist groups responsible for the bombings all over the globe. The movie starts with an unknown terrorist who masterminds an attack and blows up a counter-terrorism operation in Manchester, England. He is later identified by Roger as notorious leader Al Saleem, who wants Universal Caliphate dominating the world. What follows is a thrilling story of the CIA operative in an uneasy alliance with the Jordanian Intelligence director, Hani Salaam and his boss at Langley, Captain Ed Hoffman. After an impatient interference by the captain in the matters of breaching a terrorist safe house, Roger is forced to deport the city of Amman by Hani. After brainstorming, Roger comes up with a devious plan to catch the eye of Al Saleem. Creating a facade of another terrorist activity & blowing up an air base, he tricks an architect from the middle east with unknown links to anarchists using him as the scapegoat for bombing. Just when his plan seems to work, it backfires on him & he’s caught in the crossfires of the Terrorist group & the CIA with his love interest at the brink. All in the while dealing with issues of his guilty consciousness over innocent deaths.

Likes and Dislikes 

The outline of the story, with the terrorism and effects of war crisis in Iraq are shown vibrantly. The political agendas, deception and the ruthless disposition of the CIA are well potrayed by Leonardo Dicaprio as Roger and Russel Crowe in the role of Ed Hoffman. The thrills, the insight into the functioning of terrorist organizations and their idiosyncrasies are well accounted in the show. The cruel torture inflicted upon by the anarchists are shown unabashed. Makes a good sense for the guilty consciousness of the people who serve in the zone.

While the outline of story was good, the depiction of the same on screen was poor. The situation of Palestinian refugee camps and the effect of the crisis on commoners could have been well manifested. The story is unconnected at many places & the insights in to the working of CIA and their political influences could have been shown broadly. Apart from narrow perspectives, the storytelling is obscure and at many points it felt i had lost the point of the whole movie. The thrills aren’t nail biters and action and chase sequences are just above the average.

Whats my Point?

Just another average movie of Ridley Scott with a good story and multiple outlooks at various lives in the field of counter terrorism. Although the movie isn’t completely effective in itself, it was a good watch for the smaller intricacies in the administration and agents in the war zone.

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