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Gladiator - Media

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Introduction

Rebecca Staple Media Coursework - Gladiator What are the intended effects of the opening of Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator'? The film follows Maximus (Russell Crowe) a respected Roman general who is loyal to the aged emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). However, Marcus Aurelius dies, killed by his son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) when he found he wouldn't be his successor. Commodus then betrays Maximus and makes the order to have him killed, but Maximus escapes home to protect his family only to find they have been murdered. All Maximus wants to do now is avenge his family's death. He is taken prisoner by slave traders and is bought to be trained as a gladiator by Proximo (Oliver Reed). His potential is spotted and Maximus fights his way to the top and becomes the best know gladiator at he Colosseum in Rome and eventually meets up with the double-crossing Caesar again. The intended effects of the opening are to set up the era and tone of the film and start to develop the audience's understanding of the main character. The opening has to engage the audience and make them interested and empathetic with the main character. It also helps you to establish contrasts with the rest of the film. Scott does this is in a number of different ways. ...read more.

Middle

he immediately replies that 'the range is acceptable' you later find he is part of the cavalry so he might have put himself in danger. This speech also shows his status by the way once he has made his decision clear the other soldier immediately defers, so you know Maximus is the more senior. He has an elevated status but the soldiers respect and like him this is conveyed when he walks through the ranks with a tracking to show the ripple effect he has of them knelling when passing through. As Maximus walks among the soldiers, he takes the time to speak to them showing he cares about them as individuals and wants to reassure them. This shows the type of leader he is and is important as it shows him to be caring and honourable rather than someone driven by ego and ambition like Commodus. His elevated status is important as one of the themes of the film is to follow his fall from high status to low status to a different kind of high status. The difference is at the start he has power and position from his rank but later he regains his status but due to the popularity and respect he gains from the general citizens, which in turn puts him in a position of power although he is still held captive. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is backed up by the fact that to start the battle they chuck the head of a decapitated Roman solider at the Romans. At the start of the battle a panoramic panning shot is used successfully to show you the vastness and grandeur of the Roman army, this is one of the opening scenes most impressive effects. Quick edits are then used in the battle scene to convey the franticness of the battlefield and the way it is filmed all close up mixed with the use of surround sound makes you feel like you are there in the battle. The tempo of the music has also been speed up to give the same effect as before of franticness. This choppy style, gives a dreamlike quality to the incredible brutality and carnage of the battle. But when Maximus falls off his horse the music stops completely almost as if your are holding your breathe in suspense with concern for him. In conclusion the intended effects of the film's opening is to make the audience care about Maximus which it does very successfully by giving depth to his character. The opening also contains fantastic battle scenes, although the tone reflects the horror of war. The battle establishes the film as visually spectacular with high quality CGI so that you want to see more. If this didn't happen the whole film wouldn't work because you would have lost interest in it at the start. Rebecca Staple ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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