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.