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Word Count: 439
Great Scott Ridley Scott has certainly picked a winner in the captivating epic that is gladiator An entertaining enthralling and almost completely historically inaccurate epic starring Russell Crowe in the performance of his career as Maximus and Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus The film primarily focuses on leadership drama and politics Maximus is a respected and loyal general turned slave who then became a gladiator and one that defied his emperor - a classic and intriguing storyline Maximus embodies all admirable qualities and has a heart of gold He is however opposed by the jealous obsessive and power-hungry Commodus who abuses his position of authority as Caesar Commodus is a character we all love to hate The cinematography is impressive and to be commended for capturing his character superbly frequently filming him in the dark or shadows which create mystery and suggest evil and deceit and sporadically capturing him in silhouette to emphasize almost metaphorically his dark color contrasting with the yellow and reds of a rising sun Characterization gets 10 brownie points appearance costuming and performance were both entertaining and impressive Mise-en-scene was used intelligently especially during scenes before Maximus is to fight He film also addresses leadership as a principal theme admirably Maximus is a natural leader loyal and respected despite his social position as a Gladiator Ironically Commodus is jealous obsessive and power-driven and abuses his position of authority striving to be everything that Maximus is His position of power is also captured and made obvious by the excellent use of camera technique with the camera usually positioned upwards to emphasize his importance and superiority The idea of leadership is also linked with politics the dream that was once Rome as Aurelius wished for it to be a democracy The cinematography and graphics are incredible the usually melancholy and dramatic music contributed to the ultimate experience however the setting and scenery is commendable recreating an Rome emphasizing the system of government
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