Gladiator (2000)

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 02/01/01 12:37:39

"I like the way incest was neatly avoided"
3 stars (Average)

Gladiator is a good, predictable and exciting adventure epic with all the classic elements of what drives a man in a macho, patriarchal culture. While watching this film, I pretended like Caesar was the military-industrial complex and the Gladiator was a lone anarchist revenging himself for the death of his soul,

The Gladiator's soul was represented in the film by his wife, child and home. So just put anything you hate and feel has wronged you behind the face of Caesar and this film will take you right where you want to go. Youíll probably be doing this anyway, but just to make it even more fun, perhaps you could make a transparency of a picture of this person or thing and hold it over Caesarís face every time he comes on the screen. Itís way cheaper than therapy. The important thing is that you have to actually be righteous, not just self-righteous.

The scales of justice are generally tipped by the bad and rebalanced for the good. It is my belief in what is good that makes me identify with this classically wronged character who must, against the odds, make things right again. Fortunately for him, there is a new soul waiting for him as his reward in the form of a new woman and child and home. How convenient.

It took me at least 30 minutes to get into this film but once I was in I was hooked

I like the way incest was neatly avoided by making the sister of Ceaser be repulsed by her brother, not because he is her brother, but because of the kind of man he is. I saw an Italian film once that had a scene where a mother and her adolescent son, after a night of drinking during a town celebration end up having sex. She says nobody ever has to know what happened and it is nothing to be ashamed of. The boy at the end of the film ends up a perfectly healthy heterosexual with a girlfriend in a warm family environment. Way to go, Mom!

I donít think this would go over well in America. So even though incest was not unheard of among the aristocracy of Rome, to represent it at all would just be impossible. However incest in House of Yes is not avoided at all. In fact, itís practically the meat of the story. So why avoid it? It seemed to make more sense that Caesar would have forced himself on his sister rather than give in to her disgust.

Not that I was particularly hot to see a brother and sister love act on the big screen, it just seemed incongruous with his character and I completely expected it to happen. When it didnít, I needed to come up with a theory to explain to myself why, oh why, the world makes such little sense.

Am I just belittling a film that some people think deserves an Oscar for best picture? Yes.

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