Motion-packed look at the beginnings of the fall of the Roman Empire. Right here is the glory, the greed and grandeur that was Rome. Here is the story of private lust for power, and the shattering results of that energy’s loss. Right here is the tale of the plight of a individuals residing on the brink of a political abyss.
"The Americans have at all times depicted the West in extraordinarily romantic terms – with the horse that runs to his grasp's whistle. They have never treated the West severely, simply as we now have never handled historic Rome severely. Maybe probably the most severe debate on the subject was made by Kubrick in the movie "Spartacus"; the opposite films have at all times been cardboard fables.
It was this superficiality that struck and me." Sergio Leone I wouldn't name Kubrick's "Spartacus" a "severe debate" (Kubrick disowned the film precisely as a result of it lacks complexity), however there’s a sense that epics of yesteryear, regardless of their flaws, nevertheless possess an intelligence which trendy epics lack. Suppose, for instance, Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia", Ray's "55 Days in Peking", Houston's "The Man Who Would be King", Kubrick's "Spartacus" and even lesser movies like "Viva Zapata", "Ben Hur" and "El Cid".
To not mention these unconventional epics by guys like Visconti, Welles, Leone, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Jancso: "Ran", "2001: A Area Odyssey", "Satyricon", "Chimes at Midnight", "Pink and White", "Kagemusha", "The Leopard", "Duck You Sucker" and many others. Are there any epics as we speak that match these items.
"Troy"? "Alexander"? "Kingdom of Heaven"? "Gladiator"? "Lord of the Rings"? "The Final Samurai"? "Avatar"? I don't suppose so. Despite advances in know-how and images, these movies are content material to latch onto epically silly and spinoff screenplays. Anthony Mann's "The Fall Of The Roman Empire" is at occasions a clunky movie, however it nonetheless possess a certain substance which modern fare (and imitative stuff like "Gladiator") lacks.
The film opens with Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his slave Timonides philosophising about pleasure and pain, Aurelius finally confessing that he had a childhood anxiety in which he feared that the solar might by no means rise. This tone the sensation that every one life exists on that thin boundary between day and night time, between existence and non-existence permeates all the movie. We're then introduced to several other characters.
There's Lucilla (Sophia Loren), the melancholy daughter of the Emperor, who both idolises her father and hates her mother's constant schemes, plots and infidelities. She also hates the fact that she has to, for political causes, marry the King of Armenia to be able to secure an ally on Rome's eastern front. Watch The Fall of the Roman Empire A lot scheming then follows, wherein crafty politicians try and kill the Emperor and change him along with his more malleable son, Commodus.
. Commodus is a gladiator loving lug, who indulges in fight and games of war. He knocks skulls and fights barbarians, however is also the friend of Livius, the man whom the Emperor has chosen as his successor. After the Emperor is assassinated, a gentle feud thus develops between Livius and Commodus. The politicians need Commodus to take the throne and he ultimately does, Livius too form and humble to face in his manner.
In contrast to Joaquin Phoenix's model of the identical character in Ridley Scott's "Gladiator", Commodus just isn’t an incestuous creep, but an illegitimate child with patricidal fantasies and delusions of grandeur. Narcissistic and tormented, he cuts Rome's ties with all its starving colonies and begins to promote his personal imperial grandeur. Rome then turns into a sort of extension of Commodus' inferiority complex, an unconscious manifestation of his own psyche, which inflates and inflates and then comes crashing down, fatalistically crumbling, the illusion not supportable. We then launches into a number of subplots which try to describe the historical causes of the empire's collapse: rampant corruption, over enlargement, civilisational clashes, inequality, trade issues, the collapse of civic accountability etc. These issues aren't dealt with in anything but the most primary ways, however until one adopts a much more summary tone, perhaps they’ll't be dealt with in any other case. The movie then delineates the admittance of a barbarian tribe into the folds of Rome. The barbarians are presented to the senate and arguments made for them to be granted land and citizenship. Livius and Timonides argue that Rome should "change" and be "versatile", that it should cease "conquering" and permit tribes to "freely join" and "commerce", whilst Commodus and his cronies argue in favour for continuing Rome's ruthless hegemony. However, the barbarians are given their very own slice of land, and a type of relaxed, multicultural Rome begins to form. Commodus detests this, nonetheless, and casually orders the massacre of Rome's barbarian citizens. Anthony Mann directed this image, so in fact when the violence comes, its a bit extra onerous hitting and realistically clumsy than other films of the period. The movie ends with Commodus testing his divinity towards Livius in a duel. Like the final battle in "Gladiator", they struggle to the dying, Commodus dying in Livius' arms and Rome's pomp and pageantry along with it. 7.5/10 Though one of many higher "sword-and-sandal" epics, this film really highlights the restrictions of its style. Regardless of its daringly downbeat screenplay (the whole film oozes disillusionment), the fetishizing of the movie's large units is annoying, the performing is stiff, the production mechanical and the music intrusive. Comparisons to "Spartacus" and "Gladiator" are apt, though "Spartacus" (1960) is far extra affecting, going for broad emotions, much less politics and more sweep, while "Gladiator" is primarily a revenge tale. Incidentally, it was David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" (which launched an aesthetic which all of a sudden made Hollywood epics feel clunky), the rise of "bloodier epics" ("Zulu" (1964), Italian epics, "Bonnie and Clyde" and so forth) and the dual field workplace failures of Mann's "The Fall of the Roman Empire" and Ray's "fifty five Days at Peking", that pretty much marked the tip of these large, Hollywood productions. Worth one viewing. Makes a superb companion piece to "Ben Hur", "Spartacus", "fifty five Days at Peking" and "Lawrence of Arabia". A lot of the different epics of the era "Cleopatra", "The 300 Spartans", "The Vikings", "El Cid", "Gown" etc and so forth haven't aged too properly.