Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"300"

I used up the Easter holidays to see the much talked about "300" movie based on the Frank Miller comic book(or graphic novel if you are a fan of late 20th century newspeak). What I saw I will review from three aspects: historical, ideological and technical.

From a historical aspect, not much was gotten right. Yes 300 Spartans under king Leonidas fought against an overwhelming Persian force at Thermopylae and were defeated only with the help of a Greek traitor but that's about it. The Persians certainly had not acted like mindless barbarians, they didn't use elephants in battle, they didn't bring degenrate beings with them to help. And Xerxes! If you see the movie you'd know where the phrase "comic book villain" comes from. Spartan way of life was more or less shown well. However, the fate of the only surviving Spartan, that narrates throughout the film, is a fabrication. One of them was indeed sent back to Sparta as a messenger but he was a virtual outcast after that and killes himself out of shame.

Ideologically, the movie speaks of values put aside and even ridiculed in the modern era such as honour, duty, freedom and patriotism. Dying as free people or living subjugated - for a true Spartan the dilemma doesn't exist.

Techincally, the movie is rather well done and if not for the exagerations at the expense of the Persians there would be very little that would make it different from conventional movies. Dialogues are not (overly) banal as often these kind of films offer and ating is well done by all.

All in all, "300" brings inspiration, raises morale and entertains but if you want to learn history stick to the books.

2 comments:

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