'300' Is A Blood-Splattering Fun Time
Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: March 22, 2007 | Publication: The Mirror - Fairfield University | Author: Mike Fischetti
The film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "Sin City" took the world by storm in 2005, and now the adaptation of Miller's "300" is quickly becoming the movie of the moment.
"300" delivers with epic larger-than-life performances and stunning visuals taken almost verbatim from the book.
"300" is an interpretation of the famous Battle of Thermopylae in which 300 Spartans defended their homeland from the Persian army which is said to have been somewhere in the millions. Miller's version of the story focuses on King Leonidas and his wife Queen Gorgo.
The performances given by Gerard Butler and Lena Headey, in their respective roles, give hardened, determined, and passionate performances the likes of which can be compared to John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn.
It has been years since I have sat in a theater and heard people cheer and applaud during the movie. I love movies but do not cheer during them no matter how good I may feel about a particular moment. There were elements of this film that I was particularly pleased with and thus cheered about on the inside, the main one being Frank Miller's notable creation of a strong female character.
Queen Gorgo is just as passionate and strong-willed as her husband Leonidas and is unafraid to use physical force. Director John Cassevettes once preached that cinema "used" women for the sole purpose of being a romantic counterpart to a male lead. I find that this belief is true for some but not all films and I agree that there are not enough of strong female characters present in cinema today. However I found some comfort in seeing this kind of female role as vital and appropriate for the story. It is maybe just a coincidence that the only place I usually see these strong female leads in cinema are either in previous adaptations of Miller graphic novels, ("Sin City") or in the works of directors inspired by Miller like Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.
The only things more impressive than its characters are its stunning visuals. Miller is a visionary, and director Zack Snyder recognizes the beauty in this vision and projects it onto the screen.
You can always tell when a movie is based on a Frank Miller novel. One way is how the blood is portrayed as it splashes across the screen. If you look closely at all of the blood squirts in the film, you will notice that they are all the same; they all appear to have been drawn right on to the film in Frank Miller's blood-smatter style. Miller's style highlights some of the tricks used in film. For example, the film is shown through a sepia tone haze and all of the colors seem somewhat diluted, which is very similar to Miller's style of inking in his books.
This is one of the best epic war films ever made. The film stays constant throughout and succeeds where epics like "Troy" and "Alexander" failed. It's engaging, gripping, and has its moments of dark humor. This is not madness, "This is Sparta!"