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Media - Gladiator Coursework

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Introduction

Simon Howson English Media Coursework: Gladiator When Emperor Marcus Aurelius's son Commodus murders his father, he must also finish off Maximus Decimus Meridius, the finest Roman General. Maximus escapes his execution, but he finds his wife and son murdered. Wandering and wounded near death, he is picked up and put in to slavery, and selected to fight as a Gladiator. From there, he seeks his revenge. The title sequence symbolises the genre of the film to greatest degree. The flickering flame font represents the blazing, blistering heat experienced by Romans in 180AD. It also connotes the fact that in the emperor's palace especially, there were many candles and torches scattered around. The film starts with an opening shot of a rough, weathered hand trailing through the autumn wheat. The natural light shines from the west creating a gleaming radiance of the man's gauntlet on his wrist. Scott expertly directs this by establishing the symbolic meaning within. ...read more.

Middle

Scott wants Crowe to play Maximus as a quiet but commanding and forceful general. By using this shot of the soldiers, it shows that although Maximus is quiet and speaks little, they still respect him and honour his commands From there the shot cuts from an overview to a point of view shot displaying each soldiers expression as Maximus passes them. Every single soldier holds out his hand to shake with Maximus representing that each one hails and loves this natural-born leader. Even in the eyes of those who are gloomy and doubtful a spark of life flares up when they see the marvellous Maximus in front of them. Scott's splendid supervision of the gladiator-fighting scene adds extravagant effect to the already fabulous film. The monstrous amphitheatre towers over the two fighters (Maximus and Tigris) as they fight in gruesome death match. From the beginning of the scene the booming crowd cheer for the enslaved general, formulating a tense and hostile atmosphere, magnificently directed by the sublime Scott. ...read more.

Conclusion

Entering the bloodied turf after the fight Commodus quickly begins to insult Maximus' dead family. Cleverly Scott directs Maximus to turn away when Commodus is speaking to him giving the effect that Maximus is very powerful and will not make eye contact with this arrogant ruler. Another clever addition that Scott uses is when he guides Maximus to bow to Commodus before they leave the arena. This shows that Maximus has courtesy for the emperor but the fact that he does not avert his eyes when bowing shows that Maximus is challenging him. Overall, rousing Ridley with the help from ravishing Russell has created the greatest gladiator film in the modern era. The film used a fine, fast flowing tempo to create a truthful insight in the lurid life of a Roman gladiator. Russell Crowe as a true hero in the film bewitchingly portrayed Maximus. In my opinion, Ridley Scott is a first-class, top rate director. His movies enthral the viewer transform the comforts of the living room into the living, breathing life of an astounding movie. ...read more.

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