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Nikki M. James,
In 42 BC Rome is in the middle of a civil war. Together with his friend AGRIPPA, the young Augustus goes to Spain in order to help JULIUS CAESAR in his struggle against the troops of POMPEY. Even though they are outnumbered, they manage to defeat Pompey. Caesar honours his adopted son Augustus with a triumphal entry into Rome and then sends him to Greece together with his friends Agrippa and Maecenas. There, Augustus hears the news of Caesar's assassination and he returns to Rome with his friends. Back in Rome, he is able to gain both the support of the people and political power. In his struggle with the conspirators against Caesar he finds an ally in MARC ANTONY. Marc Antony not only pursues BRUTUS and CASSIUS, he also initiates a wave of executions which practically eliminates the old Roman ruling class. Among those who are killed is the husband of LIVIA DRUSILLA, a woman with whom Augustus had been in love as a young man. Through a combination of good luck and chance, Augustus and... Written by
An interesting variation on a story told many times
I disagree with other reviewers who were quite negative on this production. I quite enjoyed it and will recommend it for anyone interested in classical history. Admittedly, some of the acting was not first-rate, especially among the non native English speaking actors. I had the feeling their lines were dubbed in.
That aside, I liked the way it recounted the life of Augustus in the form of a long conversation with his daughter Julia with flashbacks. Yes, some of the historical details were a bit off. But it's tempting to compare it with other productions such as I Claudius and Cleopatra (the latter played even more loosely with historical fact). This production explored why Augustus, Julia, Livia, and others did what they did.
Others complained it was too long; on the contrary, I would like to have it longer and fill more detail in some of the years in Augustus's life that were not covered or glossed over.
The recreations of the Forum, the Curia, and other locations were the best I've seen. Unlike other productions such as Gladiator, the producers strives for accuracy rather than a Rome of the imagination and exaggeration.
34 of 36 people found this review helpful.
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