“Gladiator” by Ridley Scott essay

Gladiator is the historic film directed by Ridley Scott in 2000, composers – Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard. This film got a lot of awards. Among them: Oscar (the 73-rd Academy Awards) as best film, best actor, visual effects, best sound; BAFTA: as the best film, best operator work, montage and art-design. The Gold Globe: as best film (drama), best music (Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard).

I can consider three types of power: politic power, power of love (Maximus’s love for his family) and will-power (saving the ability to stay alive and win). Several destinies intertwine in this film. We saw the politic power from within with its cruelty and horrors. The title of the film means not only the Maximus’s position in society but all his course of life. From the very beginning we understand who is who. Cruel Commodus is contrasted with valiant and courageous Maximus. Commodus stopped at nothing; he even made a parricide for the immediate power. Such things like family, honour and respect are alien to him. His sister Lucilla acted in best antique traditions: firstly she slapped in the Commodus’s face as criminal (he has made patricide) after that she kissed his arm as a sovereign. The hatred, power and hatred got accustomed to this family. The events of Anthony and Cleopatra and Gladiator took place practically at the same time and place: in Roman Empire. I think methods of goal achievement and country control are similar: cruelty and treason prospered.

The soundtrack is often used for creating the TV-programs. One of them (The Might of Rome) was used in scandal-famous clip of Russian political party Rodina (Motherland), because of this track it was dismissed from the elections in 2006.

The Shawshank Redemption is American drama film, directed by Frank Darabont in 1994 based on the Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Film set the 2-nd place in the list of 250 best films (IMDb version). I think in this film the will-power (it is very difficult to be in prison, especially when you are not guilty) is shown; prison is a separate world which lives according to its own laws and rulers. The warden had the strongest power there: he could kill the person if it was necessary and prevent the discharge someone else if it was in his interests. Another kind of power that I can consider is friendship (Ellis Boyd Red Redding and Andy Dufresne).

This film is not about a state politics but about relationships between people and there striving for freedom and justice.  And this is the main difference between Anthony and Cleopatra and The Shawshank Redemption. But these two works have one similarity: heroes of both works strived for the best life. For Cleopatra and Anthony this life consisted of power and love; for Andy and Red in freedom and normal human life.

This film had some consequences for the real prisons. On 17-th of December, 2007 two convicts escape from the (Union County jail in New Jersey. Reporters called it escape in Shawshank style. Prisoners used the poster of a girl to hide the undermining and leave the gratifying letter to the guard. Later the last one committed a suicide.

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