Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From 'Gladiator'
I don’t know, you guys, sometimes I really try to have a running theme for my EINKTILFs. Like, it is really easy during holidays and stuff, but since I already wrote about Independence Day last year for the 4th, I am fresh outta ideas to represent my country. So why not just write about another awesome movie that has nothing to do with America because it takes place in Germania and stars an Australian? Sounds good to me.
To be honest, watching a person’s favorite movie is the easiest way to miss them a teeny bit less, so this is really just my way of dealing with the missing-my-friend feeling. Don’t get excited and think I love Russell Crowe or anything.
1. “People should know when they’re conquered.”
I feel like I have definitely never been “conquered,” but since I watched this movie last night, I cannot get the vision of that human head being chucked across the field right about when this line is spoken. I will admit that I think this line and that scene are bad as hell, but I also just want to give some suggestions for other ways to “conquer” and/or prove your point without chopping off the head of a man:
More innocent options. I tend to go with number one. The coolest thing I’ve ever done in a situation where I had to stand up for myself and/or my team was “I don’t have to trust you, and I am certain that I never will,” and then signed my name on this form and walked out of the room.
Mic dropped. Pride hurt. Mission accomplished. Just like human heads, only cleaner.
2. Be a good person in life.
I am a super moral human being just because I am, but I have my moments of imperfection as well, guys. I know, I know, it is hard for you to believe, I am sure of it, especially because most of you just know me on the internet, which is my best side.
But in all seriousness, Maximus (Russell Crowe, probs my least favorite actor maybe, even if he’s great in this movie) claims that “what we do in life echoes in eternity,” and that is probably my favorite line in the film because it is solid, sincere, and certainly factual.
Basically make good choices, kiddos. Life is short, but the afterlife certainly is not.
Another way of saying this: “Do the right thang like Spike Lee.”
3. Joaquin Phoenix is a super fox.
OKAY I know Commodus (Phoenix) is a creep and a huge coward, but I cannot help but get all weak in the knees when he comes on the screen. MAN, I wish I was his sister.
Sick, sick, sick, that was a terrible joke and I feel even more disgusting than I was already feeling. (BECAUSE IT IS REALLY HUMID RIGHT NOW I’M BASICALLY LOSING MY MIND HERE.)
And then remember when Phoenix didn’t win the Oscar?
4. “Many things change…not everything.”
THIS IS THE MOST QUOTABLE MOVIE EVER MAYBE? I swear the next few lessons won’t be direct quotes NOT that you guys even notice or care about that, but I am kind of a perfectionist even though it may not seem like I am, but I take my column very seriously. It literally will not surprise me if I try to convince my baby daddy to one day name our first born “EINTKILF” so anyways on a serious note:
I kind of get sick of the mindset that “everything changes” and that we should just accept it and roll with the punches because, as Gladiator teaches us, not everything changes. Your morals and values (assuming they are good ones!) should stay the same, at least. LIKE MAXIMUS PROVES CAUSE HE STICKS TO HIS GUNS LIKE A REAL MAN.
I don’t remember who said this quote because the movie is an eternity long, but I scribbled it down so it meant something to me.
5. Blame your parents for any/everything.
So we already established that Joaquin/Commodus is the worst, but I didn’t even mention that he SPOILER ALERT kills his own dad! To be honest, and maybe it makes me a super creep, but I think this scene is my favorite one.
Their conversation is so sad, and weird, and relatable, and even if I would never kill my parent(s), I don’t know…I just feel sad for Commodus. It must suck to have to work so hard for your dad to love you.
Commodus: I search the faces of the gods… for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug… where you pressed me to your chest and held me tight. Would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is it in me that you hate so much?
Marcus Aurelius: Shh, Commodus.
Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father.
Marcus Aurelius: Commodus. Your faults as a son is my failure as a father. Come.
Commodus: Father. I would butcher the whole world… if you would only love me!
Also, I’m going to advise you all to avoid butchering the world for parental acceptance. If it is going to take that much effort/death/destruction, just forget it altogether.
6. “You think the dead we love ever truly leave us?”
Sorry but as if I was going to write about Gladiator and not talk about how Richard Harris is the dad! So obviously I thought an Albus Dumbledore quote was super appropriate as a lesson, and before everyone comments and points out that Harris died after Chamber of Secrets and this quote is from Prisoner of Azkaban when Michael Gambon played Dumbledore, I ALREADY KNOW DUH I mean it’s not like I have a lightning bolt tattoo on my left foot for nothin’. I know my HP, y’all, but anyway, Maximus and Lucia at least are sad that Dumbledore is dead, so I feel like someone should have reminded them that our loved ones are with us for life, regardless of their presence on Earth.
Oh and if you need a Harris’ Dumbledore quote, my favorite is “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live,” which is basically my life motto slash obsession.
Okay, back to the actual movie we are watching here.
7. Check the weather forecast before murdering.
In one of Maximus’ coolest moments, he kills a few Praetorians like NBD, the most successful one being the dude who can’t get his sword out of its little sidepouch because baby, it’s cold outside! And the sword is stuck. And because Maximus is wise and/or a meteorologist, he stabs that guy before he can get his sword out of his pocket.
For the record, I’d be the guy getting killed because I couldn’t get my sword out of my pocket. Or I would have put it down to take a drink of coffee or something. I’d make a terrible fighter.
8. Your wig totally doesn’t have to match your eyebrows.
Case. In. Point.
9. The best diss: not shaking someone’s hand.
So after his father’s death, Commodus asks Maximus for his loyalty, stating: “Take my hand, I only offer it once.”
Naturally, because he plays hardball, Maximus walks on by. Cold as ice, baby. I love that moment. I hope I get to do it one day.
(Also, I think I just want to be Maximus? That’s what I have learned not from this movie, but from my reactions to it in this article.)
10. Strength and honor.
A repeated line, and probably two of the maybe five most important values in life, IMHO.
Not physical strength, though. That’s only kind of important. I can barely open pickle jars.