|Can we vote for this guy? Please?|
We went to see Gladiator today, to see what the fuss was about, and we must
say it's a highly entertaining movie. The most impressive parts were the
computer animation and what appeared to be careful detail to Roman battle
techniques in the opening part of the movie. There were a number of
brilliant performances, not least of all Russell Crowe's, and Ridley Scott has
made some wonderful movies, including Thelma and Louise.
Movies, though, like music and other popular forms of entertainment, speak
(sometimes unintentially) to the great issues of the day, and while this
one doesn't deal with what passes for political issues of our time
(certainly not violence), it has
done a tremendous amount of business at the box office for, we think, a fairly
simple reason: the Rome of the movie in many ways isn't that different from the
U.S. (and particularly Washington) of today.
At the heart of the story is a man, General Maximus, who is beyond
corruption, and therefore punished by the powers that be. He becomes a
gladiator, not by choice, and fights his way back There is much talk in
the movie about the hopeless corruption of Rome, and our theory, which may not
be yours but which we believe, is that this movie is striking a powerful chord
because people, by and large, are fed up with the way things are managed, and
that's with regards to both parties and those who wield or buy influence.
The figure who comes closest to the Maximus character in real life is Colin Powell, but
anyone running for office who wants a good feel for what is beneath the surface
should slip into a theater and watch this movie - and more importantly listen to
the audience reaction. There's something important going on.