Gladiator has met it's match Jenny 14 April Warning: Spoilers Historical dramas,as a rule, are very hit and miss. While they can look stunning most will suffer from a lack of drama. And it will always be a challenge to bring to life the movers and shakers of history accurately. Just look and Troy and Alexander. While both were visually stunning they lacked depth Alexander and and historical accuracy Troy. So needless to say, as a student of Classics, when I heard about Rome for the first time I was unsure what to expect.
Is it really possible to do justice accurately to the most colorful and action-packed period of Roman history? In a word YES. Rome is a perfect example of how do it right. It has something for everyone; Action,drama,suspense,humor,weepy bits,sex, romance, murder, violence, beautiful women and handsome men and historical accuracy for the most part anyway.
The balance of power is shifting as Caeser, after his hugely successful campaign in Gaul is gaining popularity with the Plebs ordinary people.
These two ordinary are thrust into the center of the conflict as Republic hangs in the balance, while dealing with their own personal issues. They come into contact with some of the biggest names of the day like Marc Antony, Caeser's right hand man and Gaius Octavian who will became Rome's first Emperor Augustus.
The series covers the beginnings of the conflict between Caeser and Pompey and continues up to the death of Caeser in the Senate House The performances are top notch.
The stellar cast includes the wonderful Ciaran Hinds as Caeser, driven, proud and noble. Kenneth Cranham is on fine form as Pompey, Caeser's put upon former friend. Special mention to James Purefoy as Antony. He brings to life the larger than life character you meet on the pages of Plutarch, rude,vulgar, selfish,brave, passionate, hilarious and it must be said impossibly handsome.
Ray Stevenson amazes as loyal lovable rogue Pullo. Other top performances include young Max Pirkis as Octavian. He clever, watchful and calculating, a shadow of what he is later to become. David Bamber as the famous Orator Cicero delivers one of his best performances yet.
The sets are lush and almost fantastical but also realistic from the peace of the countryside to the hustle and bustle of the form and the grandeur of the Patrican homes. The sets are as authentic and historically correct as possible so that one really feels that one is there in Rome at this historical milestone.
Most of the larger events such as Caeser's death are as history tells us. Some artistic license has been taken. For example while Pullo and Vorenus are actual people their stories as told here are fictionalized as is the relationship between Antony and Atia.
Nevertheless as a whole the piece is a top notch epic and worthy of all the praise it gets. Any fictionalized areas simply add to the story and help it flow. This is how historical dramas should be done ; realistic and interesting with characters true to life and engaging, top notch script and fantastic acting. Gladiator has met it's match. Was this review helpful?