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How does the opening of Gladiator portray Marcus Aurelius?

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Media essay In the opening of `Gladiator` Ridley Scott attempts to use many effects to get the audience interested and hit hard at the audiences ideas of the roman empire. Ridley uses many objects to portray this such as props costume and even the reactions of his comrades. In this essay I want to do show this. The setting of the film (like Germania) is trying to set a contrast between another (like his home). At the start Marcus Aurelius is in Germania but his mind is else where. Marcus is dreaming of his home which is sunny and golden corn fills the horizon. We also hear the non-diagetic sound of child's laughter in the distance. When he snaps back we see a dreary cold scene, in which Marcus looks sad, lonely and as if he wants to hold on to the last scene. Germania is a cloudy, snowy and misty as if the weather was sad at Marcus's loneliness and pain. ...read more.


Also the wolf is an ancient symbol of the Roman Empire. This is because the first founder and leader of Rome, Romulus, was raised by a wolf. This could be a message to tell the audience that Maximus was the true leader of Rome even before it happens; this is very powerful effect and fits in very well with the story line making it a very effective feature. To make a character seem powerful you need them to stand this is a essential effect which is used especially well throughout the film by Ridley Scott but especially in the opening 12 minutes. To separate Gladiator from the rest of the army Scott uses a different costume for him then the rest of the army. Gladiator is set in finery, he wears bulky, and strong armour this shows his importance and how much he means to people. Also he wears a dark red cloak with a fur trim this sort of clothing is usually set aside for royalty like Emperors (possibly another sign of his future) ...read more.


The music has many different features but it is mostly based on `Jupiter` from the `Planets by Holst` this gives an almost ancient Roman theme to the music it self. The Director doesn't just leave it their though he adds a up to date factor to the music which gives a sense of action in the action scenes such as Maximus charging into battle this adds to the underlying feeling of Gladiators power. These effects Maximises Gladiators power and is an amazing affects which are almost stunning. In conclusion Ridley has so many deep effects in his film that people could ponder over them for hours. In the end he uses so many effects such as Props, Sound, and Pathetic Fallacy that when you try to concentrate on them you get sucked into them and can't concentrate on them. Overall the first 12 minutes are addictive with hundreds of different effects overwhelming the scenes and emotions. In the end I think Ridley Scott is the best director within the current movie business whose multiple of layers of effects are the best you will find anywhere.. ...read more.

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