Monday, March 12, 2007
Review of 300
I was prepared to dislike this movie. I have already heard enough right wing and left wing pundits tell my how I was supposed to take this film. Xerxes is Bush, going to his imperial doom! No Leonidas is Bush stalwartly defending liberty against all odds! Actually neither is Bush. Bush would not be on the battlefield of Thermopylae. He would have been back in Sparta, or Persia, playing the greek of persian equivalent of golf.
Enough talk of the texas turd. He has nothing to do with the events of 480 BC. This film was a big and pleasent, dispite the royal bloodletting, surprise for me. It's script was poetic, well acted, masterfully shot and edited, and on the whole worthy of an oscar of some kind. This was a good movie. As far as comic adaptations go this may be the best yet. Unlike other masterful adaptations, such as Sin City, one could actually care about the characters and their fate. Like the LOTR movies this film relied on a solid story. Unlike the maudlin and limp Alexander or TROY, though they were not totally bad, this movie was a film that the Greeks of Homer's Day would have loved to watch. It tells the tale from a perspective and does not deviate from it by trying to humanize all sides. This makes it a problem for some people.
I think that many people, in our politically devisive times, will want to read all sorts of crap into this story. This is stupid. The Greeks loved a good war story just like we do. Read the Iliad or the Odyssey, lots of warring there. War played a major role in Greek life just like it does in our own.
Poor Xerxes, after defeating Leonidas and his 300, was held in check long enough for the Athenian navy to muster itself together and wallop the Persian Navy at the battle of Salamis. Xerxes took off back to Persia leaving his army in Greece. The Spartans and the rest of the Greeks assembled and beat the daylights out of the remaining Persian army at the battle of Plataea and so ended the Greco-Persian war.
The movie ends with the begining of the battle of Plataea and totally ignores the Athenian sea victory. But on the whole it is a fitting Greek military epic. I give it a 8 on a scale of 1-10.