Film Studies Essays

Submitted By nat_reeve
Words: 687
Pages: 3

Mise En Scene – Film Essay
Gladiator (2000, Scott, GB/US) Character Movement
Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) comes forward confidently, he is the leader and has full control over everyone in the coliseum. That is represented in the camera angles. Commodus then tries to place his authority, trying to show his power over Maximus. His movements placing the boy to one side and coming forward back this up.
Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) stumbles to the floor placing his dagger into the floor, a symbol that he is vigilant and ready to avenge his misfortunes, the dagger going into the sand (misfortunes; into his heart, the hurt of the past) then he drags it back out, that he is ready to face the hurt of the past and take revenge against those that has caused that to him.
Maximus revolts turning his back, stamping his own authority of the situation, ready to bite back at Commodus. The slow removing of his helmet adds to the power of the situation, something that clearly resonates the setting of the coliseum. It shows he is standing up for his beliefs and his fears, something that clearly shocks Commodus. The princess also stands up in a state of disbelief, maybe even in awe of the gladiator.
The moment when the gladiators/slaves prepare for battle taking a stance in the situation, revelling at the fact that the crowd and are in support of them, even against Commodus. It shows that if you stand up for what you believe in, people will respect that, right or wrong, if you have the reasoning as Maximus clearly does, you win the respect of others which he does overall.
The slow movement of Commodus’s hand, adding tension not knowing what he will decide, whether to go into battle or step down is probably decided by the crowd, he has lost control, shown by the opening of his hand, he has lost that mutual respect between him and the crowd.
Commodus and his followers then retreat in anger, that they have lost some authority.
Overall, the character movements project power and authority, and Maximus shows revolt and vigilance in his movements to avenge his misfortunes.

The setting in the sequence is obviously the Coliseum.
It has connotations of power reflected in Commodus, his social standing. Passion, something that is widely associated with Italy and the culture of the country.
It also the place of battle that links with the costume, the metal protection plates on their bodies, a place of death ultimately that reflects Maximus’s…