This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. I’d been holding this one back for a while, waiting for something to somehow usher it in. And that came byway of Paula’s Future Classic Movies blogathon and the leading, highlighted film from Ruth’s associated FCM post of last week. With that, and since this particular film remains in my all-time Top Ten for Epics, I can’t think of a better time for me to,
“At my signal, unleash Hell.”
The Beverly Connection 6:
May 5, 2000: almost six months after the birth of my daughter (and five into a new year, and/or decade-millennium, depending how you count) a semblance of normalcy seemed to return to our compact household. Baby feedings at o’dark-thirty and lack of sleep were finally dissipating. Of course, it included the new normal we now lived under: that of children, baby daycare arrangements while we were at work, pre-school for my oldest, and the latest level of domesticity that threaten an 11 on the This is Spinal Tap volume dial. The mother of those youngsters, and the one I still consider my bride, in her love and understanding for me, would still allow her pitiful husband his li’l latitudes.
Which meant, I could still take in a movie from time-to-time. So, on this particular Friday, with the opening of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, I (shh) left work a little early to head to the nearby (and now demolished) Beverly Connection 6. I wasn’t alone. Others had the same idea, too, for the mid-afternoon screening, which began my summer movie season that weekend, was bursting. Inside it was just electric. And you could feel the hairs not only pop up on the back of your neck, but the others there, as well, when you-know-who spoke this immortal bit of dialogue:
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
So, you might be asking, “How did you come up with that one-word title for this TMT?” The reason behind it is as simple as it was memorable. [spoiler] Recall that Commodus “only” mortally wounded the Roman general-turned-slave-turned-gladiator prior his fight against him on the Colosseum floor. And it’s a safe bet he realized his mistake when Maximus sinks the blade, the Emperor’s very own, home… into his throat. [/spoiler] It was at that point in the crowded movie theater, one woman (a fellow moviegoer) clearly and with utter satisfaction with the scene, verbalized the word that everyone there felt. A few of us even clapped in acknowledgment, afterward.
“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”