December 18, 2010


It may not have been the very best of movies, but Gladiator - directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe in what may have been his signature role, in fact the only role he is destined to play (look at his Robin Hood performance, and you know it to be true), with perhaps his very different role in The Insider - is one of my all-time favourites.

It isn't the dialogue, although it is capable.

It isn't the fact that it was Oliver Reed's final role, and a good actor (and apparently very nasty man) exited the stage to the left here.

It wasn't the big battle scenes, during which you can see some Roman extras clearly wearing sneakers (look for them, they are there)

It is for this. The soundtrack. Every now and then, perfection comes to pass, and this is it. And when you listen to the final three tracks of the soundtrack's CD, you will hear how wonderfully Lisa Gerrard's voice and Hans Zimmer's music mesh, in something that is both tribal and operatic, both modern and ancient.

It is even better when you don't watch the film.

And close your eyes. Listen.

To the sound that is Elysium.