300 the Film

Film, Movies | | March 14, 2007 at 14:37

This is a fun film, if you don’t mind a lot of gory battle scenes. The cinematography is amazing; you are left in a nowhere land between reality and comic book animation. It’s really very well done.

Gerard Butler is marvelous as King Leonidas. That Scottish masculinity and Shakespearean training make him very believable as a king capable of god-like valor. Not to mention that he looks very good in a leather brief. I wonder how many hours the Spartans worked out to get six packs like that? It’s sometimes a little silly, but all in all, a stirring tale with eye-popping costumes and make-up and over the edge characters.

How the Iranians could be irate about this film is beyond me. First of all, I hardly think anyone equates modern day Iran with its dour faces and fantasy-less fundamentalist society with the hedonistic and perverted Persia of Xerxes as depicted in the film. If anyone should feel miffed about stereotyping, it would be blacks. There were a couple of really evil ones in the film. I wasn’t quite sure how Xerxes got those Africans, but then I recalled that Egypt was conquered by the Persians around 525 BC. As the battle of Thermopylae, at which the 300 Spartans made their reputation, was in 480 BC, it’s probable that the Persian army could have conscripted Nubians during their occupation of the Nile.

This is not a film to be taken seriously, President Ahmadinejad. We westerners largely go to the movies to be entertained. And entertained is what you will be, if you enjoy this genre of film, which is in the realm of John Wayne at the Alamo. Only a Texan would obsess on Santa Ana. All enemies are treacherous and evil when freedom is at stake. The freedom of the Spartans is undoubtedly a little idealized, especially if you were a slave. But the Ancient Greeks were onto something different, and we who enjoy our western culture can all be grateful that some guys stood their ground.

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