The Academy award-winning film can be looked at not only as an effort, but an accolade that Ridley Scott has always deserved. A tale of heroic tragedy, of love, loss, betrayal, corruption and politics; Gladiator is a modern classic. Russell Crowe as Maximus in a critically acclaimed performance has left a mark on our memories forever. The theme’s universality made the film a great success and redefined Scott as a filmmaker too.
The film is a new beginning in the genre of extraterrestrial science fiction. The alien’s image in this movie defined how the generation to follow picturised the creatures from outer space. Made at a time when the department of graphics was not as advanced, Ridley Scott’s vision as a director and expertise as a production designer set the standards high for the makers, who carried the franchise forward. And the legacy was followed with great detail by great names like James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
American Gangster (2007)
Based on a true story, this is perhaps the closest Ridley Scott has come to portraying what we generally perceive as the real world. The story of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), who comes to power by smuggling quality heroine into New York and is sought after by an honest cop Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) with the help of a special narcotics task force. The noir treatment seen in the film has been seldom experienced since Godfather. Scott’s characters are real, multidimensional and honest projections of the story.
Thelma and Louise (1991)
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon star as Thelma and Louise, in a film about an incredible journey of two working class women. Fed up of their mundane lives, the two take off on a journey in a ’66 Thunderbird. The journey begins on a good note, the pair end up at a bar where Louise murders a man, who tries to rape Thelma. Then on, the journey takes them to the Grand Canyon being chased by the police where they decide their fate. What Scott has done tremendously well here is executing a great screenplay written by Callie Khouri.
Blade Runner (1982)
This film was made after the tremendous success of Alien and was, yet again, a film that was way ahead of its time. The story of a futuristic blade runner cop Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) whose job is to eliminate the replicants (clones who serve in colonies outside the Earth in the future) was a cyber-punk vision of the future which dominated the thinking of the time. Ridley’s hold over the outlandish has made him a great filmmaker. The ability he has to draw the audience into a premise and a setting that they have never-before-seen is hardly matched by anyone in the industry.
Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on November 30, 2012