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English - Media Review on Gladiator

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Write a Review of Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator' for publication in a Sophisticated Film Review Magazine 'At my signal, unleash hell' - a perfect quote and descriptive sentence to sum up this action-packed film. Filling your mind with raw human greed, emotion and terror 'Gladiator' is a story of betrayal following someone who was once a Roman army general who soon falls to the lowly status of a gladiator. Maximus, (Russell Crowe) a Roman general fighting in Germania, finds himself being bestowed with the duty of making Rome a republic by the emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Unfortunately, the emperor's son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) learns of this news and, feeling deprived of love and filled with disbelief, proceeds to kill his father so gains the status of becoming emperor. After doing so, he loses the loyalty of Maximus, whom he later attempts to kill, but fails. After this, he continues to kill the rest of Maximus' family leaving the ex-Roman general, both distraught and utterly bitter which eventually leads him to becoming a gladiator. ...read more.


The opening scene is simply enchanting with two opposing forces laid out with a division down the middle with the forest in the background burning to the ground. During this scene, we are introduced to most of the characters and Ridley Scott, renowned for such stunning scenes, makes sure it flows smoother than a river. Plunging you straight into the action and leaving you gasping in your seat wanting more, Scott succeeds in luring us to the brink of excitement. The scene I really want to emphasize is the final scene where Maximus and Commodus fight each other in an enduring and exhausting fight to the end. Before this scene, the emperor decides to gain advantage by stabbing his opponent in the back. Due to this, tension is built forcing the average cinema goer to make himself comfortable to watch a truly stunning fighting scene full of different emotions leaving you gasping for more. We start off with a very long shot of the Coliseum with both non-diegetic and diegetic sounds allowing the scene to build up both tension and atmosphere. ...read more.


Silence fills the whole scene again while diegetic sounds then cut in where the emperor pulls out another weapon to use against the hero. SFX covers this until Maximus ends up killing the emperor while a panning shot shows the audience's reaction which is most similar to our own. A long shot accompanies this while a close up of both the child and Lucilla which once again builds up a symbolic atmosphere. We then see both worlds, real and surreal, collide as Maximus floats in between the farmer scene and the Coliseum mixing both scenes together smoothly using a sound bridge as the music continues between the changing of scenes. This music is parallel to the images while the angled shot shows the symbolic carrying out of the body near the end. This masterpiece of a film for the new millennium is certainly a mind blowing piece of imaginative art and if you want to take my advice - watch it. If you don't want to take my advice, I pity you and I wish you luck in the bingo tonight. ?? ?? ?? ?? Adrian Polglase GR Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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