Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander the Great led his armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaestion. Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest. Written by
When Alexander is facing a mutiny by his men at the Beas river, Craterus' speech mentions that many men he knew had died. He mentions that some died of disease, others were butchered in Scythia by the banks of the Oxus. This comment references Alexander's campaign against Spitamenes, a guerrilla leader whose military tactics led to a massacre of two thousand mercenaries serving Alexander. While these battles are not seen, Spitamenes' severed head is shown and is referenced to by Ptolemy as the last rebel leader, whose head was presented to Alexander by his former allies (Spitamenes was indeed killed by his own allies and his head was sent as a peace offering). See more »
Antigonus addresses his troops just before the jungle battle against the Indians. In a flipped shot, his right eye is missing, not his left. See more »
Our world is gone now. Smashed by the wars. Now I am the keeper of his body, embalmed here in the Egyptian ways. I followed him as Pharaoh, and have now ruled 40 years. I am the victor. But what does it all mean when there is not one left to remember - the great cavalry charge at Gaugamela, or the mountains of the Hindu Kush when we crossed a 100,000-man army into India? He was a god, Cadmos. Or as close as anything I've ever seen.
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Hard to digest for hoi polloi, but true to history and Greek epic and tragedy
Oliver Stone consulted Robin Lane Foxe, Oxford historian and the premier Alexander expert, before making this film. It shows. The film certainly ranks as one of the closest-to-the-real-story Hollywood historical mega-films. To viewers with any background in Aristotelian drama and the Greek epic, it will immediately become clear that Stone has tried hard to emulate the epic form while integrating the culture of the Greek tragedy into his film. There is plenty of fear and pity here and there are plenty of tragic elements. The aging Ptolemy as narrator even takes on some of the functions of the chorus/choir. Tragic destiny in a larger-than-life man plagued by doubts over his own decisions, his consuming passions, is the universal here; the gripping story of Alexander the historical incidental, as it were. Not surprisingly, characterization and character interaction must loom large. Which explains the numerous and lengthy monologues and dialogues. Bravo, Mr Stone. Those who can appreciate will. But I fear that hoi polloi will not appreciate. They will simply fail to understand. Postscript: If there were any episodes in Alexander's life I missed and would have liked included (at the risk of making this film even longer) it would have been the Gordian Knot and the Oasis of Siwa.
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