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‘Pompeii’ one long rush to a ruinous end

Pompeii Film


Pompeii” starts out by telling the story of a young Celt, Milo, Kit Harington, whose village is ravaged by the Romans in the year 72 A.D. Milo, known only as the Celt is taken into servitude by the Romans. It is Senator Corvus, Kiefer Sutherland, who leads the raid on his town, and kills his mother in front him. Thus setting up a tail of bitter revenge for Milo against the man who killed his family and sacked the village he lived in.
Years later, Milo is a gladiator in service of Pompeii. While Milo is in servitude he meets Cassia, Emily Browning, daughter of the leader of Pompeii who has just returned from Rome. Cassias’ parents Aurelia, Carrie Anne Moss and Severus, Jared Harris, have the best interests of their daughter and their city at heart. When Aurelia presses Cassia as to why she left Rome, Cassia makes it clear that she does not want to say. However, we find out that Senator Corvus has designs on her, and while Cassia protests, Corvus is not interested in her wishes, he simply wants what he wants, no matter the cost. The triangle between Corvus, Cassia and Milo is set against the backdrop of Mt.Vesuvius and all that portends.
We all know what happened, the volcano exploded burying many in ash and molten lava, however, it is the telling of the story that is more important than the inevitable outcome. Visually the film is stunning, yet there are so many moments of implausibility, that one has to scratch their head. How does a horse jump over earth that is falling away beneath everyone else, and miraculously get to the other side? How can Milo, after being whipped by the Roman’s fight so well the following day he and his friend (fellow gladiator Atticus, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) take on an entire coliseum of gladiators, a platoon of Roman soldiers and then fight in single combat with one of the best Roman soldiers and win? In watching this one would think no one survived at all. Yet, we know from first- hand accounts that there were survivors who lived to recount the devastation in all its glory. "Pompeii" is not so much a retelling of the story, but a love story set against that great event which changed history and destroyed so many lives.

Kit Harington and Emily Browning in "Pompeii"