(Moving Musings are some of my thoughts on some of the all-time greats in cinema. I love story and the power that comes with it, so I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about them. Also, there shall be spoilers. If interested in past Movie Musings, just click here!)
(Before I dive into my discussion I want to say this: I had this post scheduled months ago. The last time I watched Gladiator was for this post and it was when I still lived in Texas. With life, I never got around to posting it until now, so onward).
First things first: Y’all I LOVE this movie. It has all the pieces in a story that captivate my attention. A hero driven by something greater than himself, a purpose, a perfect soundtrack that stirs your heart as soon as you hear it….I just love it. Even the phrase Maximus likes to say is one of my favorites, “Strength and Honor.”
And if you didn’t know, my cat’s name also happens to be Maximus. And this scene? Mic drop.
(This may have also been the recording to my voicemail in my early days of cell phones. I thought I was such a cool college kid in 2000.)
This movie also has one of my favorite all time movie quotes:
“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”
Now onto our main characters: Commodus and Maximus. Of the quote “strength and honor,” one had both, one had neither. One thought it was okay to have a society that fed off of death. How disturbing that a whole culture rejoiced and thrived off of human life fighting to the death for entertainment. The other? He fought to keep the dream of something more beautiful alive; a Republic. A nation for the people.
Also Commodus is ridiculously creepy. Why else didn’t we like him? He was a coward, he cared only for himself, created laws depending on his mood and had little care for the people of Rome, the people he was supposed to be serving.
Yet, on the other hand, soldiers and gladiators alike trusted and followed Maximus, many to death. Why? He had honor, integrity, he put others before himself (and why Marcus Aurelius wanted him Emperor), loved his family and was brave (among other attributes). He was what a leader should be.
What makes a leader? What makes a person the kind of person others will follow?
Furthermore, when I watch this movie, I often ask myself: What will my legacy be? Both Commodus and Maximus left very different legacies. Will I be remembered as one who fought for the people and where I put others before me? Did I give my life and heart to something beyond myself?
Lord, may the answer to that question be yes.
Have y’all seen this movie? Share some of your thoughts!