I had heard of Spartacus for the first time when I was watching a documentry on the Roman epics during a film appriciation course. At theat point of time I had basically no idea abot who Stanley Kubrick was or as a matter of fact who Kirk Douglas was. All I cared about was wheather there was sufficient action or not and having seen the glimpse of the screenplay I knew there was lots. I was hooked. I kept an eye for it ever since and looked for a copy which i finnaly found in 2009. It was a Hindi dubbed version and once i was done seeiing it, it hardly impressed me. I was bored as the battle sequences were boring and brief and I hardly found anything intriguing in the screenplay. I was dissapointed. Few years later while going through a documentray about its director I heard the narrator going all ga ga about this one. And I felt within that I must have missed something and had to revisit it. I grabbed a collector’s edition and discarded the dubbed version this time.
Once done with the viewing I was totally exhasperated and realised that the first time around I was not ready for the movie. I was looking for cheap thrills while this one was essentially a drama which spoke of human naure and values instead of beaing a guts and glory joy ride.
The story revolves around Spartacus(Kirk Douglas), who mutinees with his fellow mates from a gladatorial school and travels half way accross Rome to win his freedom. Its about the lessons he learns on the way and also about the lessons he teaches on the way. There is no jesus in this tale and yet its power is undeniable.
After Paths Of Glory, Spartacus was the next feather in Kubrick’s hat which actually put him along with the big timers of hollywood. Even though he was dissatisfied because of the fact that his artistic freedom and level of control was limited by the fact that Kirk Douglas was the producer and the star and he called the shots and also that Stanley dicided never to work under any producer again, yet the fact remains that it was one outstanding achievement. There was no battle sequences in the original script but Stanley changed that all. For Teh Lovers of the genre its a must watch as for the rest…..Its a journey into the human soul if I may call it so.