Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gladiator by Ridley Scott

Hello! In this blog we will go some thousand years back in time for analyzing an awesome movie by Ridley Scott which is named "Gladiator." I hope you enjoy it!

Directed byRidley Scott
Produced by
  • Douglas Wick
  • David Franzoni
  • Branko Lustig
Screenplay by
  • David Franzoni
  • John Logan
  • William Nicholson
Story byDavid Franzoni
Russell Crowe
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Connie Nielsen
  • Oliver Reed
  • Derek Jacobi
  • Djimon Hounsou
  • Ralf Möller
  • Richard Harris
The movie begins at the end of the war in Germania, in the last battle. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius was dying, and commander Maximus Decimus Meridius was leading the final attack. When the Germans refused to negotiate, the attack began. First, siege machines and archers began to maim the enemy’s forces, and infantry began to close in. When both forces collided roman cavalry attacked the enemy’s back, showing the great strategy of roman commanders. Germans were taken by surprise and easily defeated. After the fight, the emperor spoke in private with Maximus, inviting him to take the throne after his death so that he could later give back the Republic to Rome and end the corruption the Empire had become in. Maximus refused, and when Marcus told his son the choice he was killed. Comodus offered Maximus to be loyal to him and he refused again, so the newly made emperor ordered his guards to kill him. Maximus escaped and went home as fast as he could, but when he arrived it was already late: his wife and son had been murdered by the emperor’s minions. He slept there and was found by some slavers that sold him to a man who owned gladiators. He began to fight under the name of the Spaniard and won every fight. The games had been abolished by the late emperor Marcus Augustus, but Comodus began again with that tradition. Maximus went to the coliseum to participate. His unit was assigned the massacre of Carthage, expected to lose, but Maximus used his commander experience and took his unit to victory… the mob already loved him. The emperor, Comodus, asked to see him without knowing who he was. He told Maximus to take his helmet off and say his name, and when Maximus did, he was suddenly afraid. He was going to tell his guards to kill him there and now, but the mob shouted that he must live. The games continued while Comodus looked for a way to kill Maximus; meanwhile, Gracus (a member of the senate) conspired against him with the emperor’s own sister. Comodus failed his multiple attempts to kill him and Maximus met with Gracus, promising him to bring back the republic if he helped him escape. Unfortunately, the conspiracy was discovered and Maximus and his supporters were captured. Comodus told Maximus that he was going to fight him and kill him in the arena, which surprised Maximus a lot, since Comodus was a coward. But he was the emperor and could do as he pleased, so he stabbed Maximus as he was held tight by ropes before the fight began. Still, Maximus managed to defeat him and kill him. The mob fell silent while slowly, Maximus’ strength began to fail him because of the wound Comodus had caused before the fight: an emperor has just been killed in front of 50 000 people and the hero who had done it was also dying. With his last strength, Maximus ordered his friends to be set free and the republic to be reinstituted, with Gracus as the head senator. After that, Maximus finally went to his family in the afterlife.
I personally think that this is one of the best movies I have seen, if not the best one ever. I have always liked ancient history, and if you combine it with a perfect story like Maximus’, it makes a perfect movie. It shows how corruption began, how the senate lost its power, the expansionist policy of ancient Rome, the power of the mobs over the government and other things about life back then. Still, roman entertainment was nasty: how could they just watch in awe while men kill each other? Or when animals kill men? I can’t understand how that could be. But those were ancient times and nowadays society has changed, and we just need to look back and see the past so that we can handle the present and plan the future… that’s what history is about.

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