Epic battle movie ‘300’ draws in fans everywhere
March 23, 2007
Another Frank Miller graphic novel wows the pop culture- infested youth again with “300”. Like its trendy, violent predecessor “Sin City,” “300” wins the attention of America with blood and gore in the best form: war.
In 480 B.C., Greeks fought the Persians under the rule of king Xerxes in the Battle of Thermoplyae for their freedom. With only 300 Spartans in battle, the Persians outnumbered them at an incredible number over 100,000. Winning battle after battle of monstrous villains, it becomes difficult to have hope for any change in plot until the very end.
The beginning scene of a young Spartan attacking a wolf sets the tone for a primal mood that makes one blood thirsty and want to kill something larger than their own. Perhaps it’s a testosterone thing that I cannot understand, but the violence is gruesome and almost too much to handle.
This violence factor, however, is what sets this movie at number one in the box office. For some reason people love watching other people massacre each other. This fact verifies my thoughts that people love war. It isn’t the lack of character development or the laughable, overdramatic “freedom isn’t free” scenes that make the movie popular but the visuals and intense battle scenes.
I recommend this film for the visuals alone. Aside from the landscapes of battle fields and protective barriers of corpses, costume design won me over. King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) of the Persians is decked out in a disgusting amount of gold piercings. Delighted that every single one of the 300 Spartans shows off rock-hard six packs, I soon became crushed when they all perished and became only a pile of defeated warriors.
The few females in the film are portrayed only as sex goddesses or slaves to Persians. Even when Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to sway a council of men she is accused of adultery. Female costumes are generally all the same but differ slightly with another Princess Leia-like gold bar wrapped around whatever limb. The movie did a great job at making burlap sacks beautiful.
They also did a great job at marketing the movie. After many MySpace advertisements it became apparent to me who the audience would be. I did not expect, although I should have, that Hollywood would throw propaganda into a film with a target market. One-liners about the strongest defend the country and how they need to band together against other humans to destroy them makes for a pathetic attempt to represent the politics of the story. Considering the movie is widely shown in a country that is currently in a war (the one “on terror”) it is interesting to witness the connection between video game-like graphics, youth oriented action scenes, and a hidden recruitment message.
“300” delivered well-choreographed action scenes and hot bods, but is repetitive and borderline annoying.
Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.