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. This is called pathetic fallacy and it shows how Marcus loves his home but hates his job. This is one of the effects the director uses throughout the film to show Marcus's feelings and it works really well.
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Also the director conveys Gladiators power over people through his army. When he walks through all his men salute him showing the respect he commands. Many of his men make comments like `sir` and `good luck`. Gladiator plays up on these comments by speaking back to them. This shows what kind of man he is which is an effect in it self because it shows something from an insignificant act. This ends almost a subliminal message to the audience making it a powerful effect devised by the director.

The Director uses many props to convey his message ...

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