Let me begin by saying that Gladiator is not a children’s movie. It is violent. Battles are depicted in such a way that is historically accurate and realistic. Yet the violence is not gratuitous nor there in effect. These scenes, while admittedly bloody, leave the viewer wondering how it was that humans ever fought like that; how it was that people had the courage to face terrible situations like that; and grateful that, most likely, we never will have to face situations like that again. Indeed, it is the “strength and honor” of the individual characters that depicts how all that is good and noble about the human spirit will, in the end, always conquer the carnal mind of the natural man.
The theme that resounds through the movie is stated by the main character, a fictitious Roman general named Maximus: “What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” Faced with the betrayal of the new and corrupt Emperor that results in the murder of his wife and son and his becoming a gladiator slave, Maximus skirts the brink of losing his humanity. He is thrown into a world where human life is desecrated for the entertainment of the worldly mob. The story is his journey through and above that world; a journey in which his suicidal destination is constantly thwarted by his innate selflessness and desire to better those around him. Courage, selflessness, loyalty, survival, commitment to high and noble ideals – these are the lessons that Maximus teaches us in his journey. And the end of that journey is depicted by the beautiful echoes of mortality in eternity.
In conclusion, may I say that I am an EXTREMELY picky moviegoer while this movie is violent; there are very little bad language and no nudity nor even sexual innuendo. It is not a movie for everyone – ESPECIALLY not anyone under 17.
However, it is a movie that will uplift and inspire as it depicts the victory of the divinity in the human soul amidst the harshest and worst of circumstances.
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