Over the years in film, there are heroes that have come and gone. Heroes, whose stories are remade or modernized for the current audiences, and always inspire us all to be heroes in our own way. At the moment, there are no heroes in film more popular than those with super powers. It is safe to say that this summer’s attention has belonged to these films: The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Perhaps now, more than ever, there is great value behind being involved with a super hero film. Directors and actors alike are excited to add these types of films to their resumes because there is so much excitement around the production of them. Not to mention that perhaps the most interesting point is that there is such a huge following for super hero films. They have dominated the box office this summer, and surely will continue to do so next year with the release of Man of Steel, and sequels for the Iron Man and Thor franchises. Beyond the heroes that wear masks, capes, and possess such extraordinary powers, heroes of all kinds can help to make films great. Why do we cheer for these heroes? Perhaps the most obvious reason is the fact that they are absolutely fearless to do what is right. They encounter such tragic and horrific losses, that you just want to cheer them on as they avenge the pain of those losses. More importantly, their actions are guided by the need for justice and not revenge. That is what makes them heroes and not villains. One of film’s great heroes is Maximus, played brilliantly by Russell Crowe in Gladiator.
Curiosity is such an important element of great film making. The curiosity of a director to explore the world in which the characters must live. The curiosity of actors to truly understand their characters, and become them in front of the camera. The audience needs to have curiosity as well. Films offer audiences a great opportunity to have a glimpse of what the past was like. In order to have a bright future, sometimes you have to go back in time to correct your mistakes.This is a film that enlightens us with a look into the life of the Roman empire, and what life was like in those times. As you watch the visual beauty of any film, particularly when its setting takes place centuries ago, and there is such accuracy in depicting those times in history, does it ever cross your mind how life would be for you in those times? It serves as a great message to appreciate what we have around us. Perhaps in a different time, under different circumstances, we would not be who we are today because of the challenges, obstacles, and even wars that diminished the quality of life. This is what makes heroes such as Maximus in this film so admirable. As great as he is as a soldier, he never forgets about the true meaning of life: which is to love others as you love yourself, but as a father and husband, to love and care for your family. It is a truly great gift for an actor to display the power, strength, and leadership of a soldier, and the selfless nature of being a father.
Given the character that Crowe plays in this film, it is safe to say that nothing in this life is given freely. In other words, if there is something that you want, you must work and fight for it, but more importantly, earn it. It does not matter what your race, social status, experience, or even family tie is, there are things in this life that you must earn with your actions. Sometimes it is not about who should receive recognition, it is about who deserves it. So many qualities in a person can be overlooked, that people forget just how important they are for having a great leader. While it is true that not everyone can be an effective leader, everyone has the desire to lead their own lives. Still, others have the desire to be greedy and lead by having all the power in their hands. If there is no right justification for the actions that you do as a leader, it is the perfect set-up for failure. The best leaders are not those who boast about it, and abuse their power. They are the ones who put their needs behind the rest. They are humble, selfless, and caring individuals that will die for what they believe in. Ideally, others should follow in the footsteps of fallen heroes because what they believed in and what they stood for should not be forgotten. Which is why the legacies of heroes never die because others continue the dreams that they had. If there is one thing that great leaders have in common with society, it is the desire for peace.
One of the best qualities of this film by Ridley Scott is that when compared to others that are similar to it as far as the setting and genre, it outperforms them by a wide margin. For starters, it is a film that was released in 2000. Twelve years later, it is still a joy to watch. For a film to withstand a test of time is a remarkable achievement. There are not many films that fit that category because quite honestly, there are only a few films that people truly enjoy watching again and again.When original films are remade, the modern adaptations or remakes should be expected to produce better work in terms of their visual quality, but also to improve on any areas of weakness there might have been. So from a technical standpoint, there are films that visually, are just great to watch at any time. However, it is more impressive when after so many years, a film continues to emotionally move audiences. A big reason for that is that brilliance of the story being told. It is the actors who deliver such great performances to unfold the story of the film, but at the center of the film’s success is its great story. This is the reason why certain films are not remade. The value of the story, and the great work in the film as a whole are what continue to withstand tests of time.
Not only did this film win Best Picture at the 2001 Academy Awards, as well as other Oscar’s, Russell Crowe won the Oscar for Best Actor. A deserving recognition for for his warm and brilliant performance as an honorable and respected man that simply knew how to be a great leader. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a strong performance of his own; one that earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His performance as a villain in this film is both menacing and charming. He leads you to do what you should do: root against the villain. Joining them is an ensemble of great actors that includes Richard Harris, Djimon Hounsou, Oliver Reed, and Connie Nielsen. The appropriate question to ask at this time is have you seen this film? If you have not, it is an even better question to ask why not? A film that is worthy of being in your movie collection, enjoy it when you have the chance to see it.