I love the friendship between Maximus (Russell Crowe) and Juba (Djimon Hounsou). It is cultivated when we watch Juba nurse him to health on their journey. And as they open up about their families.
In a conversation between the two, the movie brilliantly introduces the concept that we will see our departed loved ones, but, while we still have important things to accomplish, it is "not yet."
And at the end, Maximus has achieved his goals. He has killed the Emperor, enacted his vengeance. He dies fulfilled.
But he also won the freedom of Juba. And his dear friend, knowing the significance of the Lares et Penates, the household gods of Maximus, buries them in the sands of the arena.
And he speaks to his friend.
"I will see you again. But not yet. Not yet."
The Latin he would have spoken is:
Te videbo iterum. Sed nondum. Nondum.
I tell my students every year that the movie has a happy ending. They are frequently too young to understand. Maximus did not die defeated. He died having fulfilled the aims of his life. May we all...
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You'll travel back to ancient Rome on a harrowing mission to save the modern world. It's the adventure of four lifetimes.