I love this scene. It may be one of the greatest scenes depicted in cinema in the decade it was created in.
It is a powerful illustration of the current controversy happening where sports have collided with systemic injustice.
Here are the the observations made through the symbols in this clip.
1. A powerful figure within the system becomes a victim of the system.
2. Maximus uses the only platform he has to protest against systemic injustice as well as challenge the very wealthy and very powerful.
3. Games that are intended to be a distraction from the empire’s short-comings are repurposed.
4. Players have frills, but they are a means to making the truly wealthy even wealthier.
5. The masses come out to be entertained, but instead, they’re forced to think about discuss, and confront systemic injustice.
6. The wealthy have no control over their players as they repurpose the entertainment platform for something meaningful and relevant to the empire’s real issues.
7. The powerful and wealthy attempt to leverage their power to silence those that disagree with them or would interrupt the growth of their profits.