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Jan 12, 2009

300

The best thing about 300, in my eyes, is its graphical presentation style, visually immaculate and captivating as history itself. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopyle, where Spartan king Leonidas leads an army of 300 elite hoplite (because they have left behind son(s) in Sparta to carry on their names) against the massive army of Persian king Xerxes.

Zack Snyder's direction is impressive, so is Gerald Butler's physique which he worked to achieve in order to play the role of Leonidas,. But what makes the film the hit that it was is its art direction and special effects.

There is one glitch though, a serious one from my non-American eyes. The 'freedom rhetoric' that is peppered through out the film. Come on, we are not in the US of A, after 9/11, trying to mobilize troops to go fight the terrorists from Middle East. This is Sparta, in 480 BC where slaves outnumbered free Spartans. Sparta was a hostile territory for progress, sandwiched between two mountains with a land that required a lot of effort to produce some yield, slaves were Spartan's solution to work the land. Spartans spent so much time in military training because they lived in constant fear of slave uprisings. All that 9/11-ish glorified talk about 'preserving freedom and liberty' looked out of place coming from a Spartan.

Spartans were great warriors, they lived and died to defend their land and their kin. That point should have been emphasized instead of the twentieth/twenty-first century talk about fighting to preserve the values of a free world. Review - 2.5/5 (The film is an artistic achievement, but the moral direction it took fails to satisfy me.)

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