Friday, January 15, 2010


Circa before Christ when powerful Roman empire exploited slaves as lesser than animals; one among them became flame of rebel. They called him Spartacus who was sold to fight as gladiator. It’s fight till death and its game of entertainment for Roman royals. It was believed that one gladiator is equal to two roman soldiers. Spartacus led the gladiatorial slave army to remove slavery in Rome.

It was somehow destined for Master Stanley Kubrick to direct this film, since the executive producer and star actor Kirk Douglas fired the first director, Anthony Mann not long after shooting began & movie fell into the lap of Kubrick. Perhaps, that’s the reason why Kubrick had to exclude his satirical touch witnessed in his other films. Shot beautifully in Technicolor the film is again at par in all technical divisions including Alex North’s fine music score, magnificent production design and settings, make up in grand scale; the only regret is its epical length and avarage editing. It’s more than three hours long film and naturally demands more patience unlike usual Kubrick films.

Kirk Douglas had flex his muscles and made steel body to act as lead in this magnum opus. The film also has great seniors like Lawrence Olivier and Charles Laughton. Kubrick brilliantly shot some fine sequences like gladiatorial training, slave revolt and battle sequences. Bath scene between Olivier & Curtis explains lot about the relationship between master and slave with difference between taste and hunger. But the heart wrenching moment lies in the last scene where Varinia holds up Spartacus’s child for him to witness his Christ like death along with other rebels. A great cinematic moment indeed!

The movie was nominated at Oscar in 6 categories and won 4 trophies in cinematography, art direction, costume and best supporting actor to Peter Ustinov. Indeed one of the must watch epic of all time that gave birth to another great film like 'Gladiator'.


1 comment:

Luv said...

One of the best costume dramas ever made. I love this film.