GladiatorMy mother says I look like Chow Yuen Fatt. Which is probably why I felt disappointed when ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ didn’t win best picture at the 73rd annual Academy Awards. I didn’t feel too bad though. ‘Gladiator’ won. No, nobody has even hinted that I look anything like Russel Crowe. But hey, ‘Gladiator’ won! Just to refresh your memory, this is the movie where:

  • The battle between good and evil is clearly defined.
  • The hero has no concern for personal honour. He leads his army purely as an expression of service to his emperor.
  • The hero doesn’t sleep around. He is committed and loyal to his wife and their child.
  • Evil is finally thwarted and defeated.
  • Sometimes the ultimate sacrifice must be paid for good to be accomplished.
  • Good guys don’t always get their just reward in this life. Sometimes the rewards for doing the right thing are received only in the afterlife.
  • Human beings are not just a bunch of meaningless molecules. Life is meaningful and is defined by moral choices.

Is this a movie with biblical themes or what? What is more amazing is that ‘Gladiator’ won the best picture award in what is supposed to be a post modern era. Remember the post modern era? ‘Everything is relative. There is no absolute right or wrong. Since one is never sure of the ultimate meaning of life one lives for oneself.’

In a post modern era, the movie that wins best picture is probably the least post modern. What happened? Maybe the choices for best movie weren’t that hot this year. Or maybe, just maybe, that even in a post modern era, people instinctively know what is the script for true life.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” Romans 1: 19-20a (NLT)

If people instinctively know what life should be like then we should continue to gently point them to the true hero, the one who died that we all may live. Especially with Holy Week round the corner. “What we do in life echoes in eternity”–General Maximus. Amen.