I saw 300 earlier this week. Man, I liked this movie alot. This movie is basically what guys go to movies to see. Guys you want to be like, girls you want to.. uh… be married to and give flowers to…. yeah, and fighting.
The Spartan culture is sooooo interesting. I did a bit of research post-300 and found the film to be pretty accurate in many of the cultural depictions of Sparta. First off, to be Spartan was to be beautiful/handsome, entitled and fit. They really did cast babies off the mountain if they were found to be deformed or even too small. Spartan citizens did nothing but workout and belong to supper clubs while their slaves did all the manual labor.
In the movie, Sparta must defend Greece from the million man onslaught of Xerxes and the Persian army. And because of some corrupt politicians and religious men, the army must stay at home. This leaves the king to hold off the army with only 300 soldiers… apparently, an actual historical event. We get a lot of the exposition of front, showing us what the culture is like and really… what the Spartans will find worth fighting for (Not to mention that the creed of every good Spartan soldier is to die a beautiful death, one in battle in a just cause). As a warning, etherdrift’s more delicately constitutioned readers may be offended by the movie’s sensuality, nudity or (for some of you) the presence of children and them talking.
After the first part though, it’s all battle. Someone once described the violence in Tarantino’s Kill Bill as not too bad because it was artistic. Well, I never saw those movies mainly because I sat behind him once at Mann’s Chinese Theater and he’s a maniac. Of course there’s battle carnage in this war movie, but it’s really well done. Blood from the fighting is shown as the flying blobs of ink as in comic strips and graphic novels, not like the carnage in the more artistic Saving Private Ryan. There’s a scene from the trailer where the Spartans are pushing the invaders over a cliff… silhouetted in the setting sun and the soldiers fall like water pouring out of a pitcher. Many, many of the scenes of the movie look like paintings come to life… possibly one of the best parts of the movie.
The Spartans, in their fighting, display all the things men aspire to…. courage, bravery, defending the weak, and protecting our friends. Certainly heroic men in today’s society over overly political correctness. One scene was thoroughly thought provoking… the Queen addresses the Senate to convince them to send the army and gives a rousing speech on freedom and heroism. And after, a well spoken Senator speaks against the Queen, using many of the words and phrases that Americans against the war in Iraq are using…. except here they sound oily and low. A very interesting juxtaposition indeed. Further, I’ve heard (on a news channel playing inside the gym) that the movie is being seen as an allegory in some parts of Iraq, where America is the million man army coming to invade and the 300 are seen as brave jihadists.
Thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I’ll definitely be picking up the DVD when it comes out.
And yes, Jad, I did go see it by myself. I used to think people who saw movies by themselves were losers who had no friends. Now, I think it’s a great way to see certain films. I still don’t think seeing a movie is a social activity… think about it… you’re seated, all facing forward, in the dark, and no one (is supposed to) talk. I’ll still see movies with friends, but after I’ve enjoyed it on my own!