I chose this scene of when Maximum kills Commodus to analyze because “Gladiator” is one of my favorite movies. I love the storyline, acting, and cinematography.
Camera: In the beginning of the scene, the camera gives us a close up shot of each significant character involved in the scene, starting with Maximus grabbing a handful of sand and then the camera jumps from the General to Maximus to Lucilla to Commodus in that order. The lighting is constant throughout the scene, which eludes to most likely a moderately wide iris (exposure). At (00:34) before the fight, the camera offers a wide frame and is shot from above the action. With a bird eye’s view of this scene, the camera signifies Maximus’ ill luck to survive, because all of the soldiers appear in the frame as they are surrounding him. As Commodus is stabbed, we see a close up shot of both characters. The majority of these camera shots are close ups, because it is such a significant scene and the camera wants the viewers to see the facial expressions and emotional releases of the characters.
Audio: Given the circumstances of the scene there is very little dialogoue. The audio is of the fight, movements, and the crowd. The crowd’s “ooohs” and “aahhs” tell the story of the fight. The noise of the swords are a sharp bang every time they clash. The audio of the punches are intense, you can hear the flesh and bone crush the skin. After you hear the knife sink into Commodus, it is silent for about 20 seconds. Then in the background a singer’s voice starts and is the background audio the rest of the scene. As Maximums slowly dies, he whispers to Lucilla. The singer’ voice continues over their dialogue and for the rest of the movie.
Analysis: It is hard to capture fight scenes in a movie and make it realistic as possible. The reason it is hard is because a fight consists of rapid, erratic movements and often bad camera work can make a viewer nauseous. However, in my opinion the cameramen did a good job of relaying this duel onto the big screen. The audio was clear and added to the tension of the scene. The song in the closing minutes of the scene wraps up the movie.