Above all else, just incredibly joyous watch. Keeps me entertained the entire five hours it takes me to watch a four-hour movie!
(If interested, I did a silly live-tweeting this while watching: https://twitter.com/AntBejarano/status/1138234151574810624)
More seriously, there's something here that's reminiscent of Gone With the Wind, which I also love.
Both Cleopatra and Gone With the Wind have their most extravagant set-pieces in their first halves; the procession into Rome in the former, and the burning of Atlanta in the latter. It's pomp and circumstance wrapping around an apparent love story. But, then, in the second half, is when the real plot shows itself, as a tale of how hubris and delusions of grandeur, even among the most powerful, will eventually…