By Folorunso Fatai Adisa
One of the movies that made the year 2000 for me is “Gladiator”. It’s one of the most acclaimed films of that year. And it was the second highest-grossing film of the year too. It ranked next to “Mission Impossible 2” which came first.
Expectedly, in 2001, the movie clinched several awards. Some of the awards are: Best Film (Drama) for 58th Golden Globe Awards, and the 6th Critics’ choice awards. Domestically in North America, Gladiator won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actor (Russell Crowe) amongst others.
The film is tremendously charming, and it gives me much cinematic joy each time I watch it, again. And again…
“Gladiator” has some forms of heightened spectacle, with images grand enough to sear themselves into one’s cinematic memory bank. Gory. Thrilling. Moving. And then, in the end, there’s an admixture of happiness and sadness. The tyrant died. The General died too. But justice prevailed— glory and vengeance.
What is the movie all about? Its storyline is predicated on honour, treachery, kingship and ambition.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: The General who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. The warrior who fought for strength and honour. And, eventually, died as a General.
Like Brad Pitt won my heart by playing “Achilles” in Troy, similarly, Russell Crowe won my heart by playing “Maximus Decimus Meridius” in Gladiator. Both actors are a class act.