Gladiator is one of the few movies I like, among the very few that I watch. It tells the story of a Roman general who is betrayed, sold as a slave and finally has his revenge as a gladiator. This is an ordinary story, told in an interesting way, with very good acting.
What made me like the movie more is the underlying metaphor. All through the movie, Maximus the hero wants to live a life of peace and quiet with his family. But he is always drawn into war, of one kind or the other. This can be compared to human existence, where the goal is to attain freedom from human bondage (atleast from the vedanta point of view)
The hero keeps getting drawn into war/gladiator arena which is similar to the world we live, work and essentially are bonded to in some way. The goal is to free oneself from these bindings to achieve eternal bliss. Is it possible? Gladiator Maximus achieved this by challenging the emperor, thereby fulfilling the purpose of his life, viz. avenging the murder of his family and meeting them in the afterlife. In this world where we live, it may not be as easy as that, but it certainly is possible to achieve freedom.