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Analyse the methods used to make the opening scene of 'Gladiator' seem both shocking and realistic. what effect do these have on the audience?

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Introduction

Analyse the methods used to make the opening scene of 'Gladiator' seem both shocking and realistic. What effect do these have on the audience? Potent and exhilarating, the film 'Gladiator' tells the story of a man who is attempting to gain his freedom back. 'Gladiator' is a heart-warming and compelling film. In the opening scene, Maximus, who is leading the Roman Army, escorts his army into battle. I will be analysing: Camera angles, sound and lighting, to see what affect these have on the audience. In the opening scene we see a lot of emotion yet a lot of violence between the Roman army and the Barbarian tribe. Maximus gives a very over-whelming speech to his troops, which to me gets them through the battle. 'The Writing', which tells us background information on the film, forms the opening sequence of 'Gladiator'. The director uses a zoom, to gain the audiences attention. A zoom is used because it makes the audience focus on the screen and nothing else. The director wants you to know the background to the film. The music used in the opening scene is very magical and peaceful, it is not too overpowering, and so you don't focus on the music, you focus on the writing that is being projected onto the screen. ...read more.

Middle

The orange used represents hell, and the line of fire in front of the archer's, looks as if it has been used as a barrier to separate the Roman army from the Barbarians. All these make the audience wonder what is going to happen which makes them want to carry on watching the film. As the battle is starting, the camera shots are very jumpy to show the pace of the battle and how quickly it is going. A point of view shot is used to make the audience feel as though they are on the battlefield, and it lets the audience see what is happening, through somebody else's eyes. The pace of the music picks up, so it links in with the camera's fast pace. We can hear the sound of arrows and the sound of tree's bursting into flame. It almost sounds like somebody is lighting a match. This is called Selective Sound and the director wants us to hear these sounds. The colours used represent a lot of things, for example, all the men's faces are in darkness, which could symbolise that they all have a evil side to them that no-body knows about, also when Maximus is fighting he is lit up so everybody knows who is the main character and also he is the person to watch. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Gladiator' got very good reviews from Critics. It seems that film, touched a lot of people, in many different ways. "Special effects in movies have become increasingly wedded to science fiction, but in the glorious spectacle 'Gladiator', director Ridley Scott uses this technology to re-create - with a startling physicality and immediacy - the Roman Empire that once blanketed most of Europe", "'Gladiator' puts its audience through a digitised, derivative DeMille, but compensates with remarkable performances (including, sadly, the last one by Oliver Reed)" In this essay I have been looking at the opening scenes of 'Gladiator' and what effects the scenes have on the audience. I was also looking at how realistic and shocking the scenes are especially the battle scene. Therefore I have taken everything into consideration, including camera angles, lighting and sound, and realised that all of these make the audience hooked on the film and all throughout watching it, they never know what is going to happen next. It leaves them wanting to know more. I would definitely watch the rest of 'Gladiator'. Just after watching the first few scenes, I was hooked, and I wanted to know what was going to happen in the middle, and what kind of ending the audience would want to see. Elizabeth Farnes 20th October 2008 English Coursework Miss Harrop ...read more.

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