A Textual Analysis of the Opening Sequence of Gladiator
In this essay, I will explain the opening sequence of Gladiator in
detail. I will describe the effects it has on the audience, and look
at the way it makes them feel and the way in which events are
portrayed. I will look at in depth: The themes and atmosphere, the
camera techniques and how audience emotions are manipulated. At the
end, I will include a conclusion giving my opinion of how the
sequences used are effective for the audience.
The opening sequence to Gladiator has numerous purposes.
It has to
inform the audience of many things, in such a short period of time.
The place and time (Germania, 180AD) needs to be established so that
the scene can be set quickly. The main character (Maximus,) has to be
identified, so that the audience knows which side they are on before
the battle starts. It is important that the audience can relate to a
certain character from the beginning, so that they can really begin to
experience events with the character and show emotions for them.
Narrative is used at the beginning to explain important details that
can help the audience to understand certain proceedings properly. For
example; ‘a battle is about to commence.
‘ It also introduces
particular themes, such as strength, freedom and loyalty.
For the first few scenes, I will look at and explain how the
atmosphere, themes and pieces of information are expressed. The film
starts with the logos for DreamWorks and Universal studios. The usual
vibrant colours are substituted for different shades of grey . . of
Caesar, or an ally of Caesar.
This is reflected in the film because
Maximus is the leader of the Roman army.
I think that the sequence used is effective for the audience because a
variety of techniques are used. I think that setting the scene by
using blocks of writing is good, because the people who want to know
background information can find out. The music is effective, because
it can capture the audiences’ attention before the film has even
started. All of the vital information is explained at the beginning
which I think is really important as well. The audience need to know
the time, place and characters within the first 10 minutes, otherwise
everything can become confusing.
I consider the sequence used to be
highly effective and a great way to put across information to the
audience and to set the scene.