Gladiator has a distinctive genre. Right at the very beginning the film gives a mystical feel, with the Smokey dark background and the eerie music. From the first few scenes you can tell that it is an action film and that it is set in the Roman era. There are also aspects of humor. For example when they are in mid battle Russell Crowe nearly stabs one of his own men. When they realize they laugh for a second, then its back to war.
The music changes throughout this part of the film. To begin with the music is calm and peaceful. It is played with string and woodwind instruments such as violins and flutes. The music gradually builds up. More instruments are added. A strong drumbeat is added. The music follows what is going on in the film, and is the loudest and most powerful at the climax of the battle.
There are contrasts between the two nations at war. The Romans are dressed in uniform. They are organized in a military fashion. And on top of that they speak English. This shows that they are sophisticated and civilized, because we understand them. The Barbarians on the other hand are dressed in random outfits made of the furs of animals that they have killed. They are in a rabble, shouting and screaming in a tongue that we don’t understand. This makes them appear savage because of how uncivilized they are.
The lighting at the beginning is dull and dark showing that is dawn. The sky and everything around is different shades of blue. This lighting sets a mood of depression. This continues until the end of the battle, when the sun begins to rise. This signifies that the war is over; it’s a new day.
There are many contrasts used in the film, Such as when Russell Crowe is daydreaming. In his dream the sun is shining and he is walking through a cornfield. You can tell that it is a memory because in the next seen it switches to reality, the dark and dismal reality, war.
The certificate for this film is 15 showing that it is aimed at adults and older teenagers. This is because you need an adult frame of mind to understand all of the symbolism in the film. For example, the robin that flies from the battle scene symbolizing freedom. Another example would be the dog. The dog symbolizes faith and loyalty, but also symbolizes aggression and dominance.
All of the shots throughout the film have an average length of about five seconds, with the exception of the opening and closing shot, which last up to fifteen seconds. For the scenes with the Romans in, the camera is always positioned at eye level. This draws us into the battle, and we are instantly on the Romans side. Even when we are looking at Russell Crowe, the General of the Roman army, we are at eye level. But, when we are looking at the Barbarians we seem to always be looking down at them. This gives a sense of power to us, the Romans, because it makes us appear the greater side, it makes us appear more powerful.
The whole introduction of Gladiator is a mixture of contrasts. Though this section of the film is only twelve minutes long, it is filled with detail. From this short piece at the start you can tell a lot about the rest of the film. For example, the genre.