300

01Apr07

It is not a question of what a Spartan citizen SHOULD do, nor a husband, nor a king, instead ask yourself, my dearest love, what should a free man do.

I know I’m beating a dead horse here but, after finally watching 300, I do agree that the film was American propaganda at it’s best (or worst?). Every single inflammatory line delivered could be interpreted to justify America’s ‘War on Terror’.

Spartan King Leonidas: The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, that even a God-King can bleed.

If you think about it, it’s also a pretty racist film. The Persians are mostly ‘non-white’ and pretty ugly (oxymoron?) and the Spartans are embodiments of male perfection. That was one of the main turns offs for me…there were way too many naked/half naked men throughout the film. Another flaw was that unlike most other other comic book adaptations, it took itself far too seriously. I kept guffawing at otherwise serious scenes much to the consternation of my friend.

Β Β 

That said, the film is incredible to look at. The visuals are stunning and the battle scenes (pretty damn gory with heads flying all over the place) accompanied by guitar riffs are unlike any other epic battle movie you’ve seen. At the end of the day, it’s just another piece of passable Hollywood entertainment.

6/10

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34 Responses to “300”

  1. ooh..y o y do u make everything sound so gloomy?? n wat does the war on terror hav to do with this?? that stuff wasnt even invented at that time!!
    n for once, the movie is kinda good to watch…n wat r u complainin bout the outfits of teh spartan guys???

    the blood thingy was cool tho…

  2. Well i was about to go watch the movie with friends today and now im not soo sure. Thanks a lot pal πŸ™‚

  3. 3 Jaison

    Hey Dude..

    First of all, I fail to understand how your smart mind could conjure up a link between the war on terror and the 300 movie…seems a lil too odd to me. I also dont think the fact that the Spartans being potrayed as ‘perfect’ men is quite right an assessment. They were after all one of the most rigidly trained of men in those times..And definetly fairer in skin color to the Persians..:)

    Me definetly will be watching the movie if possible just for the fights πŸ™‚
    Chow

  4. I don’t understand. I thought it was a refreshingly insightful angle to the movie! Seriously, I can see what you see even if these other guys don’t ;-)! Peace out bro!

    And yeah I can totally understand the excessive amount of @$$. I wanna watch the movie though, more importantly for the technical aspects of it. Of course will kick us @$$ once I see the movie =P!

  5. 5 Bipin

    I am too a little disappointed by the movie, though the reasons are pretty different.
    However, what I liked about the movie is the same thing that I’ve loved in other Rocky-ies, “… I know I may not win. So what. I’ll still fight“.
    Leonidas was a pretty strong character who knew what he is capable of, and what he is NOT. Remember the two lines contrasting lines spoken by Leonidas:
    No Spartan dies today.
    Tonight, WE DIE IN HELL!

    And yes, the amount of respect a woman was given is the one thing I adored. πŸ™‚

  6. @Cendrelin Oye…I’m not saying they started the war on terror, I’m saying certain scenes in the movie allude to a very ‘American’ view on things…there is this one line in the film where they blame the Persians for adopting mysticism etc…which IMO is the same thing they’re doing now. But on a purely ‘non visceral’ level, I guess the film worked…

    @Wildgrey Dude…I’m not saying you shouldn’t see it…but this ain’t Sin City meets Troy…

    @Jaison Huh? Is that you or somebody else? Um…thanks for thinking I have smart mind…:-)

    But see, I’m not saying the film promotes the WOT…I’m just saying it’s far too Americanized…unashamedly so. A lot of jingoism that alludes to American patriotism. There are a couple of lines in the film that truly feel like propaganda. But then again, to each his own I guess. Plus I’m the guy who reads too much into stuff. Besides, look around…I’m not the only guy who drew such far fetched parallels.

    @Guru Technically, the film is BRILLIANT! It’s amazing how such effects can be created…completely inside a studio in front of a blue scree. A heightened sense of (un)realism!

    Dieses ist Sparta!!!! πŸ™‚

    @Bipin I guess you were going expecting an inspirational film a la Gladiator huh? Yeah it wasn’t that per se…

  7. 7 soorajrox

    “……it took itself far too seriously.”
    that’s what I thought about Batman Begins……waaaaay to serious
    America’s War on Terror????how did you even think of that connection?
    and yes I’ll agree it was americanised, but that’s because Frank Miller’s comic is americanised itself.

  8. Ok…yes BB was kinda serious but even it took quiet a few jabs at the absurdity of a grown man wearing a cape and a cowl. This is referenced twice in the film, once by Bruce Wayne at a party and another by Alfred.

    On the other hand, there were scenes in 300, particularly towards the end that I laughed at. eg: When Leonidas asks one of his men to go back to Sparta saying “You have another talent…” I half expected him to say “You can sing!!!” πŸ™‚

    Trust me, search the net , you’ll find lots of people saying that the film drew parallels to certain American policies…

  9. 9 soorajrox

    that was actually one of the part where it came a lil different than the comic….in the comic after everytime they fought or camped at night, everybody would camp by the fire and Dilios would be narrating some story about King Leonidas, just to boost up the spirit of the Spartans
    In the movie they showed Dilios(only at the beginning of the movie)narrating the story of Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopyle, thus making the whole movie a flashback
    That made the difference, in the comic Dilios was the narrator, but it was well known that Dilios has a talent of narrating stories and heightining the spirits of the Spartans, so β€œYou have another talent…”came well with the story and everybody understood, whereas in the movie(as far as I can remember) it was not showed that way.

  10. 10 bugT

    It takes way too much imagination to link this with war on terrorism. Anyways, check out the spirit of Spartans : http://itpro.no/art/10497.html πŸ˜›

  11. 12 Ravenent

    Devil’s Advocate Dept.

    Unfortunately, our emotional baggage and inherent bias tend to systematically distort our perceptions, despite all-too-obvious sensory inputs (which can be manipulated, I admit).

    Have you ever been sent one of the mails where you were told to locate hidden, nebulous figures in a picture but, try as you might, one eluded you? However, when someone pointed it out to you later, you smacked your head and after that, never failed to see the figure whenever you saw the picture?

    Now what if the person who pointed it out to you told you that there actually was no hidden figure besides the ones you found by yourself? Ask any psychologist – it’s a classic case of “seeing/believing what one wants to see/believe”. Similarly, people delude themselves into thinking they see shapes in clouds. In fact, even in the case of a Rorschach inkblot test, the results show not only what the patient projected onto the ink blots, but also what the psychologist projected onto those projections.

    Now even if 300 does indeed have an overt propaganda or a subliminal message – so what? Have we lost the ability to simply take a work of art at its face value without reading too much into it? If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall, did it actually fall? If I watch a movie and never realise there was a hidden agenda to it until it was hammered into my brain by a media grinning with glee at having discovered an easter egg, does the message exist?

    We all watch American movies, don’t we? Haven’t we all cringed at the jingoistic propaganda of, say, an Independance Day? Has there ever been a movie coming out of Hollywood that didn’t have an America-centric view of the world (and why not, it is their right after all)? Whether it is good things or bad, whether it’s an earth-shaking discovery for the good of Mankind or an attack by a bunch of homicidal/paranoid/neurotic humanoid aliens, it all happens in America, doesn’t it?

    My suggestion? Take it all with a pinch of salt, willya? Movies primarily are, and always will be, a means of entertainment. Unlike some movies that may lay claim to discussing weightier philosophical/material matters, 300 never does so. So why do we need to provide it with the legitimacy due to a serious work of art? Anyone who buys into all the crap about so-called American superiority and the legitimacy of that ******* Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ after watching 300 needs to have his/her head examined. ’nuff said. Finito.

  12. 13 Ravenent

    *ahem* A comment longer than the original post… πŸ˜‰

  13. it was the friken best

  14. 15 Prashant

    Probably the best dialog of the movie was

    Stelios: It is an honor to die by your side.
    Leonidas: It is an honor to have lived at yours.

    otherwise yeah I agree with your statement of it being just another “passable Hollywood entertainment”. Actually the History channel documentary was better than the movie..

  15. I couldn’t agree more with you, prestidigitator. I disliked the film for its strong pro-war undertones (the freedom-has-to-be-earned speech by the queen) and the excessive gore. You’re also right about the skin colour thing, Persians were never dark skinned. Now, there’s nothing wrong with dark skinned folk, it’s just that, in this case, it’s an inaccurate depiction. I can understand why Iranians took personal offence to that. I do, too, to some extent.

  16. Dieses ist Sparta!!!!

    I believe the correct way to say that would be either “Dies ist Sparta!”, or “Dieses Land ist Sparta!”.

  17. @Smaran 3 weeks after the film, I suddenly realise that I reaaly din’t like the film at all. Even the 6/10 seems a bit high now…

    Glad to know you feel the same mate!

  18. 19 ArthuroGatti

    great movie…no comment… best historycal movie;)

  19. 20 Big Mac

    if one was to study the actual history, then you’ll realise that the film was incredibly accurate. For example, the Persians were mainly just slaves taken from conquered lands and thrown into the army or were just slaves.
    Secondly, the Persians would be dark skinned becuase they lived in a desert so i dunno why everyone is saying that that is incorrect.
    Thirdly, Anyone should know that the Spartans actually dressed like that in battle to make it easier for them to fight. It also intimidated the enemy and it was well-known that before any battle, the Spartans would oil themselves ceremoniously. They have all got big muscles becuase they were trained from the age of 7 and were in military service until the age of 60; and that was compulsory.
    Therefore, for me, this film was absolutely superb as it was a work or art and literature because the narration was done just like Homer’s odessy whereby the same adjectives are used over and again. This film got 9/10 for me, the only let down were the kind of human experimented Persians where one was taking steroids and the other armless but with random swords attached to the upper arms.

    A good book for further reading is ‘The Spartans’ by Paul Cartledge

  20. @ prestidigitator: Why don’t you like it anymore?

  21. 22 Anonymous

    being gay is not crime
    proud to be gay

  22. 23 Piemonkey

    i completely agree with Big Mac. Great movie. Get a life

  23. 24 Anonymous

    coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllll !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. oh puhlease, get over yourself. cant you just watch a movie and take it at face value? and if you are so intent on reading meanings into it then i suggets you, brush up on your history and/or read a book called SPARTAN by valerio massimo manfredi.
    it does help the movie alot that its not so stiff and does not stick to every single bit of the story line, otherwise it would have been totally boring.
    there’s nothing racist about it, whether they were non white or not, it doesn’t matter because persians and the rest of the army were mostly non white. because the persian army was basically made up of most part of africa and a wide area of the east asia.
    and as for there being too many naked guys as to turn you off, it wasn’t intended to turn you on in the first place. if it did big fucking deal. it definitely turned me on, as well as many of my girlfriends..lol just kindding {actually not really..lol}
    sorry for having a go, i just get over sensitive when this movie in particular is attacked, just because the critic isn’t well informed.

    feel free to reply..
    want to hear you or rather read you defend yourself..

  25. 26 Big Mac the 2nd

    i agree with Toyosi, i hate it when people criticise good films like this one.

  26. Okay Spartans! Take these two down.
    And yes! Don’t worry whether you are right or wrong.
    “Wrong” is just a racist slang…

    shouting: No Spartan dies tonight…

  27. @toyosi and big mac

    Well if youve read what I’ve written you would see that I thought the film had brilliant visuals…was stunning to look at but it felt emotionally empty and took itself far too seriously.

    Implies I did take it at face value. But what amuses me is that you take this as an accurate historical account when it is simply the adaptation of a graphic novel. To appreciate something like this requires a suspension of disbelief and I think on that level it did succeed.

    Also, please get your history right…persians are NOT dark skinned people. One thing that made me smirk throughout the film was the over the top jingoism. It could also be because I’m not American.

    As for the naked guys…it was a personal statement…if they turned you on…good for you! πŸ™‚

  28. 29 josh

    I believe that this movie reminds us of a time when death was a small price compared to the ideals that we as humans should live for. the american public of today is fed a certain kind of ideals the most primary being “lookout for nobody other than yourself” “do what ever YOU think is right” 300 tells us differently: “Respect and honor” “a spartan’s strength is the warrior next to him” “i would die for any one of mine (men)” “the world will know that few stood against many”

    this movie glorifies men who would rather die than lie, cheat, steal, behave like a coward. leonidas tells ephiartes that “may you live forever” implying that an honorable death is preferable over a life in shame.

    maybe that is why people have such mixed opinions about the film- some of us are inspired to be more selfless in our life. Others feel ashamed in the light of selfless heroism that the film throws at us.

  29. 30 soorajrox

    (me again)OH I loved the comic and the movie, it had very good visuals. Now I loved the movie b’cos of how the director made it from the comic book and not anything else I think.
    from this discussion about persians being slaves and from the deserts….I gotto totally disagree…Persia, now Iran…is one of the world’s most mountainous countries, its landscape is dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins or plateaus from one another. The populous western part is the most mountainous, with ranges such as the Caucasus, Zagros and Alborz Mountains; the latter contains Iran’s highest point, Mount Damavand at 5,604 m (18,386 ft), which is not only the country’s highest peak but also the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush. The eastern part consists mostly of desert basins like the saline Dasht-e Kavir, Iran’s largest desert, located in the north-central portion of the country, and the Dasht-e Lut, in the east, as well as some salt lakes. This is because the mountain ranges are too high for rain clouds to reach these regions. Except for some scattered oases, such as Tabas, these deserts are uninhabited…..(that is a copy , paste from wikipedia)………………..
    slaves???no..no…descendents of the Aryan tribe and had a big enough empire to rule the whole of europe then. I dunno if they did but they could have…
    This movie is totally fictious and it is based on one person’s(Frank MIller’s) vision.

  30. @Josh

    …a time when death was a small price compared to the ideals that we as humans should live for..

    Time?
    Hah. Do you mean to say that today ideals aren’t *that* important?
    Let me tell you something, there’s no need to go back in time to find *heroes*. It’s just an excuse weak people make. You will find Heroes everyday.
    These heroes need not necessarily *FIGHT* literally. But they do fight a different battle everyday, and make *sacrifices* every hour.
    The *rest* of the crowd does two things:
    1. Blames others and the society, and takes the excuse “everybody-else-is-doing-it” for their weakness;
    2. Gets over-excited, over-inspired by movies like 300, Rang De Basanti (Hindi), etc.

    If you succeed in giving a smile to your parents, at the cost of your own; you are hero man. πŸ™‚
    Welcome back to reality πŸ™‚

  31. @Bips Dude!!! *bows down* Best retort ever!

  32. @Pres*: *bows down* Thanks dude. I just hope to live by my words, most of the times πŸ™‚

    @All:
    Were you all aware that there was this “The 300 Spartans” made in 1962?
    Someone made this trailer of the movie using scenes from “The 300 Spartans” and music from “300”.


  1. 1 300 « A place between black and white

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