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What are the intended effects of the opening of Ridley Scott's Gladiator and how effective are they?

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Introduction

What are the intended effects of the opening of Ridley Scott's Gladiator and how effective are they? Ridley Scott's film the 'Gladiator' is about a warrior called Maximus, who is a general fighter for Rome in Germania who has to fight for his life. The film has a very effective opening starting with Maximus walking through a cornfield. It shows him looking at a bird which then flies away. This symbolises that he is tough and scary and that even a bird is afraid of him. It has quite a simple setting which is very effective. The director chooses to put a spotlight on him which shows to the viewer that he is a very important character in the film. Throughout the opening the director uses Maximus as a narrator to let the audience know the main parts to the story. The director of the film does this to help communicate with the audience and enable an easier understanding. The director can communicate with the audience in many ways such as the bright colours on the cover of the DVD/Video which may help persuade them to buy and watch it. ...read more.

Middle

A sepia colour is also used when the cornfield scene is shown. The director also does this when Maximus enters the battlefield and speaks to the other men as he walks past the soldiers. The director does this as a way of introducing the character and to make him stand out. The director in the film 'Gladiator' uses a lot of different techniques to create various moods and to tell the audience how important certain characters are. The background shows freedom and happiness as it is in open country and there is no one ordering him around. You can tell the mood is pleasant as it is sunny with trees surrounding him and a bird in the bushes. You can tell the change in moods as we enter the battlefield as the sound and lighting completely change. The lighting is dull and dismal and it creates a rather frightening feeling amongst the audience. There is a freezing atmosphere as there are no bright colours or cheerful sounds. There is a good use of dark shadows throughout the battlefield which creates a good effect as it adds to the atmosphere. ...read more.

Conclusion

Before the battle Maximus says to his soldiers 'strength and honour'. I think he says this to encourage them and to make them think that this is for their country and that they are to be strong and have courage. When talking to his cavalry he tells them about how he will be harvesting his crops in three weeks and where do they think they will be in that time. This puts belief into the soldiers' minds as they want to be able to make it to that stage in their lives. Before he rides off he also says 'unleash hell'. This signals to the audience that there is going to be violence and mass destruction during the battle. I think that Ridley Scott has created a very effective Gladiator character as he is everything that he should be. He has used various different lights to help reflect his moods and different sound effects which blend in with the scenes. He has a very strong personality and he wears clothing and armour that make him stand out as a leader. Overall I think that the opening is very gripping and a brilliant way to start a clever and well worked film. ...read more.

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