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.

This film is by far the most enthralling, heart tugging and active adventure film I have seen in a long time although it is certainly not designed to be viewed by the faint hearted. Filled to the extremity with blood, guts and the scum of human emotions, this film can leave the typical person feeling moved yet horrified by the human race. It also contains many twists not usually found in film of this genre as it is a film which contains not only betrayal, but a history and a story of love which makes it extremely compelling. Even though this is so, I can hear you now asking “Why should I watch a film which is both violent and complicated?” to which I must reply saying that the violence is only the areas in between with the storyline laid so neatly, that Anthea Turner would find it hard to pick fault. With extremely effective acting from both Russell Crowe and Richard Harris, it’s easy to see why jealousy is aroused from Joaquin Phoenix’s character – Commodus and because of this just makes it hard not to understand.

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With stunning scenery and outstanding screenplay directed by Ridley Scott the background and scenes are brilliant complements to the storyline. The stunning scenes filmed in the UK, USA, Morocco, Malta and Italy are more than enough to satisfy the thirstiest cinema-goer. With stunning sun sets and re-created Roman monuments to add to the atmosphere, it is more than enough to take your breath away. 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 ...

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