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Film Study Review

In: Film and Music

Submitted By azlove18
Words 1302
Pages 6
Week 5 Essay
David A. Micciche
University of Phoenix

For my report I decided to write about Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, which is an action, adventure, drama. This film was released in 2000 with Russell Crowe who is a method style actor, as the lead actor, Starring as Maximus. Maximus was the favorite general of Caesar Marcus Aurelius played by Richard Harris. After defeating the German Barbarians, general Maximus only dreamed of returning home to his wife and son to live a simply life tending to his crops, and leave behind his life as a respected general.
After defeating the German barbarians, and with his health failing Caesar decides to appoint Maximus as the protector of Rome and wishes to pass all of his powers as Caesar to Maximus, on the condition that Maximus restores Rome to its former glory, then returning all power to the senate. Commodus, who is played by Joaquin Phoenix who is also a method actor, is a spoiled self indulged aristocrat that believed Caesar would name him as his successor. Commodus kills Caesar and takes the title of Caesar and orders his soldiers to kill Maximus and his family.
Maximus escapes, wounded, only to return home to find that Commodus’ soldiers beat him there and slain his wife and son. He awakes to find himself captured to be sold as a slave to Proximo, played by the late Oliver Reed. Promimo is a Gladiator manager, and trains his slaves to fight as gladiators in arena settings, so that he can profit from their blood.
Upon returning to Rome, Commodus decides instead of building a sewer drainage system that would help remedy the plague epidemic that is starting to grip Rome that he would bring back gladiator battles back to the Colosseum, a practice that his father had previously banned.
Proximo takes his group of gladiators to Rome to participate in the spectacles of the Colosseum, and proves the talent of his gladiators, especially Maximus. Maximus unites and leads his gladiators into various battles, making a great show of killing challengers. He realizes that the only way to exact his revenge on Commodus is to get close enough to him to kill him. Commodus arranges the return of Titus, Rome’s only undefeated gladiator, along with four bengal tigers. Overcoming the odds, killing Titus, and escaping the tigers, who only attacked him, Maximus wins the battle, and gains the respect of Rome. This challenges Commodus’ rule and he decides to step into the ring with Maximus. Before the battle, Commodus, stabs Maximus and conceals the wound with his armor. The sword fight ends with a victorious Maximus dying from his wounds, and the new Caesar of Rome. With his dying breaths, he returns power back to the senate.
This Movie was in my opinion, a great movie that was planned, and executed very good. This film and an immense budget which showed in the size of the set, set design, the extras, costumes, and locations.
The first part, or act I, was filmed on location in Surrey, England. This was the battle against the German Barbarians, and was make to look like a forrest and battlefield in Germany. Director Ridley Scott was allowed to burn down 400 meters of forrest in order to create the battlefield. The ground was very muddy, and burnt, as if many battles had recently taking place there. The costume designer, Janty Yates and her team had to design and dress over two thousand extras. Which included over three hundred Felix troops, one hundred archers, two hundred German troops, and eighty Cavalry soldiers. The make up was made to look like the soldiers bore scars from past, and recent battles. They created bloody wounds from swords, and arrows. They even employed the use of a mud pit that the soldiers would go to before shooting to give the appearance of fighting in the mud. The crew, and designers created over two thousand weapons. They made over sixteen thousand arrows just for flaming arrows, and over ten thousand arrows just for shooting, and practice.
During act II, which is were Maximus is sold to Proximo and becomes a gladiator the location was shot in Quarzazate, Morocco. The production designer Arthur Max built an ancient looking town in an existing town, and built a gladiator arena in place of where the towns football filed was. They used over thirty-thousand mud bricks, using local materials and techniques. They employed hundreds of local extras, and fitted them with costumes, and makeup. The makeup was used to show the intense heat of the area, even though it really was hot.
Act III was filmed on location on the Mediterranean Isle of Malta to give the setting of Rome. For this act the production designer and special effects teamed up to re-create Rome. They built a section of the Colosseum to scale, and then computer generated the rest. They also employed hundreds of extras, and computer generated many of the people watching the battles. They brought n four Bengal tigers, and trainers for the battle against Titus. The music in this film was accomplished and mastered by Has Zimmer, and Lisa Gerrald. Hans Zimmer said “the music would support the story, and would really be emotional so that no woman would ever leave their seat in the theater.”
Robert Ebert only gave this movie two stars, complaining that he didn't like the colors in the film, that the director only used “mud tones at the drab end of the palette,” and “that the characters bring no cheer: They're bitter, vengeful, depressed.” Even stating that “Commodus was not paying attention in Caesar School, since the practice at the Colosseum at that time was to close the thumb in the fist to signal life” When Commodus gave a thumbs up to signal life for Maximus. I think Ridley Scott intended this film to be darker with the colors he chose, and the depressed or angry tones of the actors to represent the times they were living in. In fact this was not a time of joy for most of the people of Rome, They just lost an emperor, and he was replaced with a tyrant, they were starving, and in a crises of plague. The hand signal was a flaw in the movie, but a very subtle one that largely went unnoticed. Ebert went on to criticize further, and made comparisons to Spartacus, Ben Hurr, and Titus.
Regardless of what Roger Ebert gave this film I thought it was excellent, and I give it 4 Kernels, as in, popcorn kernels. That is on a scale of one through five. They had hundreds of hours of film that was edited perfectly to tell the story of a general becoming a slave, a slave becoming a gladiator, and a gladiator that changed Rome. At the 2001 Oscar awards this film won best picture, and best leading role actor Russell Crowe. It was also nominated for many other awards. In the 2001 Golden Globe awards it won Best motion picture for a drama, and best original score, by Hans Zimmer, and Lisa Gerald. and nominated for many others. It also won awards and nominated for many more in the BAFTA, Screen actors Guild, AFI, ARIA Music , ASCAP film and Television Awards and more.

References
Gladiator The making of gladiator. (2000). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEbP63hyt5M
IMDb awards gladiator. (1990-2014). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/awards
Ebert, R. (2000). Gladiator. Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/gladiator-2000
Lee, N. (1996-2014). Russell crowe review. Retrieved from http://www.movieactors.com/acting-reviews/russell-crowe-review.htm extreme method acting. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/extreme-method-actors-gone-too-far_n_2232192.html

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