300, starring Gerard Butler as King Leonidas, could not have made a history lesson more exciting. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, 300 tells the story of the famous Spartan soldiers (300 of them) who fought half a million Persians in the battle of Thermopylae. It should be known now that this movie is not the average sandals and swords film.
The most impressive aspect of 300 was director Zach Snyder’s use of graphics. The film was shot in front of blue and green screens, with only one shot done outside. Camera positions made it easier for the audience to feel like they were right in the middle of the spear showers. Staying true to the graphic novel, the film was…well…graphic. Blood dispersed from sliced heads and everything right down to the spinal cord was shown.
In the movie, Sparta, a society built on the principles of war, puts babies from the moment they are birthed into a life or death situation-any physical disfiguration and the child is tossed over a cliff. As boys grow older, they are taught to fight in vicious, deadly ways. The girls grow to become mothers of the most real men in the world-Spartan soldiers.
A Persian man warning Sparta not to attack Persia is the opening scene of dialogue in the film. If Sparta attacks, it shall suffer from grave consequences. As the Persian man realizes he is moments away from his death, he cries out, “This is madness!” to which Leonidas replies, “Madness? This is Sparta!” and thus the 90 percent action-filled film ensues.
As the 300 Spartans march to battle, they cross paths with an Arcadian army that is made up of weaker soldiers compared to the Spartans. This is when a bit of comedy and sarcasm is incorporated into the film. Leonidas laughs at the Arcadian army for the fact that it is made up of potters, blacksmiths, and bakers.
The movie had a few moments of cheesy dialogue, and these scenes were very simple. The best acting in the film portrayed the “hooras” of the Spartan army and Lenonidas’ barbaric shouting.
As Spartans and Persians shout in battle, spears fly, shields are dented, blood pours like soup from a ladle, and abs sweat. For the male audience members, the 90 percent action did a lot of justice to stay in tune to the movie. Of course, the female breast exposure was inclined to receive a few “ooohs” and “aaahs,” as well.
Women want to know what is in store for them to watch this movie. Well, there is a small bit of romance in the film. It may leave some sobbing. For example, as Leonidas prepares to go off to fight, Lena Headey’s character Queen Gorgo bids him farewell with one of the most famous phrases, “Come back with this shield, or on it.” Also, the bare, glowing, sweating abs brightened the eyes of women (and some men), as well.
There were a few comments from audience members as they walked out of the theater in ties to Sparta’s emphasis on what real men should be. The brief undertones about how the Spartans thought everyone on their team was sexy is sure to make a lot of men think about whether they really are interested in big-breasted women or men with eight-pack abs.
Controversy built around the film should not pose as a legitimate excuse for one to miss out on the action of 300. Emphasis that was built around the supposed homophobia (when Leonidas called Athenian philosophers “boy lovers”), and disrespect toward modern day Iran (the portrayal of Persia’s awkward society), probably was not intended by the film makers, actors, and author of the graphic novel.
You aren’t a real Spartan if you don’t go see this movie.