12 Years a Slave closed down 2013 as the most powerful movie of the year, a movie that continues to speak to us today. It told the tales in history of human atrocity, the inhuman way another can take away the life and the very dignity of another. It horrifyingly allowed us to see how death under the circumstances of slavery could be the entrance to paradise.
The will of those living under those conditions is an unimaginable fate anyone of us today could live with. But many have died, endured, and more importantly survived, those atrocities so that we could stand up with dignity and pride today.
Now, in February 2014, a new kind of history comes to the big screen. One that is of a warrior, a hero, under the title of Gladiator. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje stands before us as Atticus, an African warrior-gladiator, fighter and humane soldier forced into constant combat for promise of freedom. A freedom that is promised by the very enemies that continue to keep him captive.
This in fact may be the movie that brings Adewale to the Oscars with a nomination. The re-make, Annie, still remains to be released, but Atticus has definitely captured my attention. (I hate to compare, but I couldn't help but think his performance may sit in the minds of it's audience as Russell Crowe did for Gladiator, and Gerad Butler did for 300. Mark my words.)
Although we are not told the circumstances by which he is imprisoned, we do know he is completely the opposite of what American history has shown us of those Africans imprisoned under the Roman Empire.
We do know the Romans made slaves of all whom they did capture, if they did not slaughter them first. Black and white. The goal of the Romans was for total domination and expansion of their empire, by any means necessary. At all human expense.
Their form of entertainment was among many, first on the list killing of innocent lives, and the making of enemies among their imprisoned captives. These inmates were forced to fight one another for the hope of freedom. I can only imagine the blurred lines between the captives, not knowing who the real enemies were, The Romans or each other.
Pompeii, story be told, was a story of grave destruction that goes beyond human control. The beauty of the very ground in which its people stood on, now turned on them. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, buried both its citizens, young, old, wealthy, poor, lovers and enemies.
Milo, played by Kit Harington, leads this epic love story where he falls in love with an aristocrat, a woman he could never have, played by Australian actress Emily Browning, in search of the enemy that slaughtered his people.
The rest of the cast also proved to be equally brilliant! Keifer Sutherland plays Senator Corvus, and is has an absolute brilliant performance as expected. You love to hate his dark character.
To add to the excitement of the historical story, is it is filmed in 3-D. The characters literally feel like they are in the room with you and the genius writing develops each character perfectly, with each actor bringing each scene to life.
The stunt work done in this movie is as exciting as those done in Gladiator, and 300. If you are a lover of action-packed movies, this is definitely a great movie to watch.
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