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A new lesson in history

Category: 300 Reviews
Article Date: March 31, 2007 | Publication: The Athlone Advertiser | Author: Editor

Posted by: stagewomanjen

Any of the flaws of 300, and there are a few, are quickly forgotten when you see the amazing graphics and battle sequences created by Zack Snyder. The story is based on the Frank Miller novel, which recounts the tale of the 300 Spartan warriors who set out to stop the world dominating Persians.

This is the way history should be taught! Miller has a true talent for graphic and memorable one-liners that translate perfectly to film. It is hard to believe that this is only Snyder’s second film to direct, his first being the hugely successful remake of Dawn of the Dead.

To be fair though, the actors needed little direction when it came to acting. 300 isn’t so much about winning the Oscar award for Best Drama, it’s more likely to be found in the category of best production, visual effects, and the like. Apart from ready-made quotable lines such as “this is Sparta” and “tonight we dine in Hell” there isn’t much acting. The rest is more like battlefield choreography. Who thought that watching a man get his leg cut off from below the knee would be so graceful?

Of course this is a bloody and violent film and surprisingly simple minded when it comes to the plot, but that doesn’t matter. The plot of 300 was never meant to be complicated or deep, it was simply put in place to speak of the heroic King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his 300 brave warriors.

The history books tell us that King Leonidas was a stubborn king who loved his Sparta and would do anything for queen and country. So when a Persian messenger comes to warn him that King Xerxes of Persia, a god king nonetheless, was coming to take on Greece, Leonidas shoots the messenger and sets upon the warpath. But of course there is a lot of bribing and scheming, along with a lesson in loyalty. There is probably only one significant speech in the entire film which touches on the issue of bloodshed, the need for liberty and the suggestion that no man is free until he fights for his freedom. A few eyebrows might rise to the thoughts of Hollywood getting on the liberty bandwagon.

There is a slight Lord of the Rings feel to this production. However the computer generated imagery is far more superior. There is a certain style to this film, with its amber hue and striking camera shots, that leaves you gasping and shielding your eyes while still wanting more.


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