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Tony Grist

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Final Thoughts On Rome [Jan. 6th, 2006|11:16 am]
Tony Grist

Everyone came to a bad end except Pullo.

I knew that something like that was going to happen to poor, old ,uptight Vorenus.

I knew that something like that (indeed, something exactly like that) was going to happen to Caesar.

But I was not expecting Pullo to walk off into the sunlit Campagna hand in hand with his favourite girl.

Pullo is a brute with untold killings and at least four atrocious murders to his (dis)credit, but I love him dearly. He is so blithe. So good-natured. I want him to settle down on a farm with the lovely Irene and raise chickens (or pigs or whatever it is that Roman farmers raise)and die at last, full of years and honour and with so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren in attendance that there's not room for them all around the bed.

The arena sequence made the arena sequences in Gladiator look like they'd been scripted by Richard Curtis. That decapitation- o my!

The shadow of Shakespeare lay black and Stygian over the last half hour. The writer avoided the horrors of the Burton-Taylor Cleopatra with its ghastly Shakespearian paraphrases but the Man was present even in his absence. I was waiting for "et tu Brute" and when it didn't come I felt a little cheated. But the killing was grand- a scuffle in a butcher's shop. And the politics, with Brutus  the pansy-arsed tool of a rightwing cabal , were so real and dirty it hurt.

Will we see more of James Purefoy's Antony in the sequel? Please, please, please!

And now we have to wait until 2007 to find out what happens next.

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Comments:
From: ex_kharin447
2006-01-06 03:39 am (UTC)
A lot of what follows should be Octavian and Antony vying for the Empire so one would expect to see more of him...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-06 07:45 am (UTC)
Or will they jump a generation?

I want to see more of Max Pirkis's Octavian too. I wonder if they're delaying the sequel in order to let him grow up a bit.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-06 07:51 am (UTC)
I don't understand the bad reviews. For me it's the most compelling thing I've seen on TV since I don't know when. I've found it thrilling and painful and brutally real. I don't mind the inaccuracies. This may not be the "true" Rome, but it's a convincing and detailed and internally consistent world they've created here.

As for Pullo, I think Ray Stevenson deserves an Emmy or whatever those things are called.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-06 07:52 am (UTC)
Maybe you can rent it when it comes out on DVD. I like it so much I mean to BUY the DVDs.
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[User Picture]From: sina_says
2006-01-06 07:39 am (UTC)
it was wonderful, wasn't it? it played on hbo over here, and the series ended months ago. we were completely addicted. i, too, was completely taken with pullo... and left dissapointed after there was a conspicuously absent "et tu brute". can't wait for more!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-06 08:01 am (UTC)
Totally wonderful.

And so much more intelligent and grown-up than big screen epics like Gladiator.

I thought it was remarkable how they set up two "heroes"- Pullo and Vorenus- both of them so unsympathetic in so many ways- and challenged us not to love them.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-01-06 09:15 am (UTC)
That decapitation- o my!


I miss everything.

Did the head--talk, on its way down?

Please say Yes.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-07 02:32 am (UTC)
The guy was already on the ground, so his head didn't fall, it rolled. Our man Pullo slammed down on the back of his neck with the edge of a shield - a sort of primitive (very primitive) guillotine effect.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2006-01-06 10:37 am (UTC)
I always thought the arena scenes in the trailers for Gladiator didn't look all that convincing. No doubt leading-edge for its time, those tigers were very obvious CGI effects to me. But Rome's elephants (several weeks ago) were much better - though to be fair, they didn't exactly scamper around the place.

I read Caesar's The Conquest of Gaul a couple of years ago and found he was a master of spin, very much portraying himself as a folk-hero. He's a curious character: assassinated for being a tyrant, yet there's very little overt evidence of that presented in the programme. I have yet to read The Civil War, though Rome has certainly whetted my appetite for that. I skimmed through the glossary section this week and found to my surprise a chap called Titus Puleio who was listed as a centurion batting for Pompey in the Civil War!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-07 02:39 am (UTC)
I thought the action sequences in Gladiator were very disappointing- all CGI and tricky editing. They fell well below the benchmark for this sort of thing set by films like Spartacus and Ben Hur.

I had been wondering idly whether Pullo and Vorenus were invented names or plucked from the historical record. I guess the writers of Rome must have leafed through that glossary ahead of you. :)
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