Gladiator was a movie released in the year 2000. It's an epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott and written by David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson. The film co-produced and released by both DreamWork Pictures and Universal Pictures.
In the movie, The Roman Commander Maximus has intentions of returning home to his family and farm after leading the Roman army to victory against the Germanic tribe. Shortly after this battle, the Emperor, Marcus Aurelius called Maximus in secret and tells him that his own son, Commodus was unfit to rule and told him of his wish for Maximus to succeed him for the time being and help save Rome from corruption and restore the republic.
When Commodus heard this, he murdered his Father, the Emperor, proclaimed himself Emperor and ordered the Praetorian Guard to execute Maximus. Maximus was told that his family will also be executed.
Being a more experienced soldier, he killed his captors but got injured in the process and taking two horses rode for his home but unfortunately, he got home to find his wife and son, murdered and crucified. He buried them but collapses due to his injuries.
He was found by slavers and taken to Zucchabar a city in one of the Roman Provinces and was sold to an ex-gladiator now turned gladiator trainer, Proximo.
Maximus fought in local tournament albeit reluctantly, his combat skills helping him to win matches and gain popularity amongst the locals and his fellow gladiators. Among this gladiators, he made two friends, a German named Hagen and a Nubian named Juba.
Commodus organizes a 150 days of games to commemorate the death of his Father. Proximo was invited to bring his gladiators. Proximo having seen how highly skilled Maximus was, revealed to him that he was once a gladiator that was freed by the late Emperor, Marcus Aurelius and advised him to use his skills to "Win the crowd" and get his freedom.
Proximo took his gladiators to Rome so as to partake in the 150 days games organized by Commodus. Using a mask as disguise, Maximus made his debut at the colosseum in a game arranged for the re-enactment of the battle of Carthage. Being experienced in battle, he unexpectedly led his side to victory.
Pleased by his display of leadership quality, Commodus entered the arena to congratulate him. He ordered Maximus to take off his helmet and give his name, at first Maximus did not obey and turned his back on Commodus but after the second order, he took off his helmet turning round, he gave his name and made known his intentions to get his vengeance in this world or the next. Commodus was compelled by the crowd to let the gladiators live and the guards were held back from executing them.
In his next match, Maximus was made to fight an undefeated legend, Tigris, Commodus arranged for a couple of lions to be released on Maximus as the duel progressed. Fortunately Maximus prevailed but refutes Commodus command to kill Tigris, this made the crowd to chant "Maximus the Merciful" in respect to Maximus. Angered by the outcome of this duel, Commodus taunts Maximus about the murder of his family probably to force his hands so he will get killed if he attacks but Maximus ignored him and walked away.
However, Maximus discovers from his ex-orderly Cicero that his former legions remain loyal to him. This spurred him to reconsider his previous refusal to the request made by Commodus sister, Lucilla to meet with an important Senator, Gracchus. They agreed to help Maximus to escape from Rome and join up with his still loyal, former legions and force Commodus out, then hand power over to the Roman senate.
Unfortunately, Commodus learns of this conspiracy. He had Gracchus arrested and ordered an attack on the gladiators barrack. Proximo and his men, including Maximus gladiator friend, Hagen sacrificed themselves to enable Maximus escape. Maximus was captured at the rendezvous point with Cicero where Cicero was killed.
In trying to win back the approval of the crowd, Commodus decided to challenge Maximus in the colosseum. Shortly before the fight, he stabbed Maximus in the lungs so as to gain an advantage over Maximus and ordered that the wound be concealed. Despite being injured, Maximus was able to disarm Commodus in the duel, Commodus ordered for a sword, a command which the Praetorian Guard refused to obey. Commodus produces a knife which he had concealed in his dressing but Maximus overpowered him and drove the knife into Commodus throat, killing him. Maximus was on the verge of death but with his last breath, he ordered for the political reform of Rome, the freedom of his gladiator allies and the reinstatement of Senator Gracchus. While giving up, Maximus had a vision where he was reunited with his wife and son. He was honored as a Roman soldier and at Gracchus request, his body was carried out of the colosseum leaving that of Commodus behind.
That night, his Nubian friend Juba visited the colosseum and the figurine of Maximus wife and son, he promises to see Maximus again, but not yet.
1 The movie started with the last battle that cemented the unity of the Roman empire. I prefer it should have started with the Battle of Carthage which shows more the glory of the Roman empire. The battle scene should be included as this will give the viewer especially those who have no idea about how the battle went to get an insight on one of the glorious battles that laid the foundation for the formation of the Roman empire.
This battle scene should be portrayed alongside the bass voice of a male in the background giving the history and the actions that took place in the battle.
2 After his capture, in the movie it took just two fights for Maximus to win the crowd, with the first fight being a tag team duel.
I would have loved the fights be more than two, four at the minimum and the should take longer periods to be concluded and more trying than the two enacted in the movie. Among these four duels, at least one should be a face off, probably with a reigning champion in the city of Zucchabar. The duel should be very trying and he should be portrayed to have survived the duel by a hair's length of luck.
3 In the re-enactment of the Battle of Carthage, the fighters representing the Roman army should have been more coordinated that they showed in the staged fight. They just rode up as ones going to carryout a simple anhilation against a babarian horde, just riding round instead of locking swords in battle, with this, the commanding part of Maximus will be more pronounced.
4 I would have preferred Maximus to have escaped Rome, meet up with his former legions and make war on Commodus. This would have added more adventure to the movie. And it will be a pleasure and it will stir up a lovely and warm feeling if Maximus is seen riding into battle at the head of his legions!
Then he will be made to face Commodus in a single duel as the battle rages on but showing scenes where the battle is rolling in favour of Maximus. At the end of the duel, Maximus should emerge victorious albeit having sustained a death wound from Commodus.
5 And finally, the scene of giving Maximus an honorable burial should be included. Also, the scene where the Nubian, Juba returns home and is welcomed by his wife and daughter be included as the closing scene.
All images are screenshots from the movie