Disclaimer: Slightly dated. Wrote it a while ago but was there was a hesitation when it came to publishing. Got a comfidence boost when Sheesh, who has also done a review of this movie, told me it was “wonderful.” (Still can’t believe how soft we are getting. *shakes head*) Well, here it be.
What did I like about the movie?? Ok, wait. Lemme start from the beginning. Yes, it was one of those movies that I got free tickets to. Yes, I know my office is cool. Yes, I got free popcorn and drink to go along with the movie ticket. Yes, I know this is not fair, life simply isn’t sometimes. I don’t want to make a song and dance of the fact that I was picked up and dropped cuz that sorta thing is taken for granted now. As is the rest of the stuff but then I wanted to make a song and dance of all that so you feel free to just, you know, deal with it.
And so there it was, or I was. I ought to tell you at this point that, well, that first, I’m gonna be going into a few details, so if you haven’t watched the movie and have thus far taken great pains to avoid forming an opinion by reading and/or exposing yourself to reviews of the movie, then you really should consider not reading any further. Second, I’m not a big fan of war cuz I think of it as mindless violence, so you may or may not find that my review is slightly ermm…non-flattering (?) Well, I’m hoping you understand what I’m trying to get at.
So the movie is, as I’m sure Everyone knows, about Spartans. The Persians are on their way to attacking Greece and obviously, like any sane country, Greece wants to stay, err..free. Sparta is a part of Greece or something like that (Wikipedia says something of that kind anyway). In any case, Persia is primarily into expanding their, shall we say, influence. Imperialism is their thing. They don’t really actually want to go to war or anything, but you know how it is, they are on this ego trip of ‘hey, you wouldn’t want to mess with us. No, no seriously, you wouldn’t, cuz you know…well..just you take a look behind me..see all that endless black stuff on the hillside and beyond there? That’s not trees nor nothing. That’s just my army.’ So the way it worked was…Xerxes would send his messenger over to the next kingdom he wants to have control over, basically came on his way anywhere, have them show some severe attitude, at the end of which, basically, the king or whatever would say ok boss, here’s my kingdom on a platter. And if that dude didn’t, he simply got mauled by the army from the hillside and beyond. And so it happened till it was Greece’s turn.
It is also common knowledge I know that the story is, in particular, about the battle of Thermopylae. A limitless army held back by a handful (relatively speaking) of Greeks + Spartans. See now that in itself is cool. But hey there are war movies and then there’s 300. I don’t know about the best one ever n all, but it’s the one I have liked in quite a while. Well, the blood and gore and the violence has never been my kinda thing. It’s the strategy and the spirit of the thing rather than the body count. I’m a very Guns of and Force 10 From Navarone kinda person you know. Yes I realize that I just contradicted myself, but the making of the body count was so beautifully choreographed in 300. It was like a bleddy ballet. There is lot of raw power just floating non-chalantly around. Its just you as the audience that feels it, its really quite matter-of-fact for the characters. Come on, who in their right minds would take on like an army of a Million with just about 300 people behind you. It’s crazy. But thats what Leonidas does. Its like the most natural thing for him to do. And guess what, his men are equally crazy, laughing at their own little jokes while shielding themselves from the arrows that blot out the sun. And you sit there watching all this and smile like an idiot cuz its kinda funny and crazy and cool and a few other things at the same thing. It helps that the men are scantily clad, and oooh did they look hot or what! But we shall deal with that later.
So the things I liked about the movie, other than the brilliantly choreographed battle scenes, which admittedly are most of the movie, are the other small little things like plot and screenplay. The plot is very very simple, and that’s always a good thing, cuz as we all know, too many characters means too much confusion. So it is good. Persia wants to take over Greece, Sparta says not in your dreams, Persia is like fine then we’ll just attack, Greeks + Spartans assemble a tiny little preliminary army, block the pass of Thermopylae, and proceed to systematically destroy the army little by little. Of course there’s a traitor, thanks to whom the small little Spartan troop (cuz apparently the Greeks left by that time) gets surrounded, and yeah, killed. As you can see…fairly linear. Doesn’t torture the brain, like say a 007 movie would. Of course there’s that whole thing about the politics in Sparta while their king Leonidas is fighting it out at Thermopylae, but like I said it doesn’t distract from what is happening. And then there is the obvious parallel between the boy and wolf episode and Sparta and Persians thing. All very beautifully taken. The visuals just imprint themselves in your brain.
As do the dialogues. There ain’t much of it. No high philosophy n all. Quite literal and straight forward. Even the part where the queen is negotiating with that useless gay guy…well ok, I just call him gay. He obviously proves that he isn’t, maybe bi…but whatever. The point being that even in that part there is no mincing of words. We all know what is going to happen even before it happens and expect it and hate that we expected it and hate the guy but yeah dialogue wise its kept quite clean and simple. When the queen later addresses the…err…elders (?), her words are simple and to the point. Very crisp. And it’s consistently that…crisp. No needless emotion, no needless weaving flowers into an insipid garland to throttle you with. I think it just went with the whole Spartan theme. Minimal and all that.
This brings us to the costumes…which are also decidedly kept minimal. I’m not sure if the guys in Sparta actually dressed (if you can call it dressing, i mean…) like that, but really what do i care, they all looked hot, at least all the soldiers did and that’s who were on the screen most of the time. (Me and my friend were wondering what the audition for this movie might have been like…the thought fascinated us for a while) The women were also rather revealingly clothed. Very linen, interesting use of lines and stuff. I liked the costumes, wouldn’t mind owning that red one the queen wears to the counsel. That was beautiful. Simple and elegant.
Overall I thought the movie was great. Not a classic but pretty good. I saw’ed it twice, once on IMAX and once on the normal screen. It’s an IMAX movie. If you’ve watched it on the normal screen I’d still say you’ve missed out on something. And if you’re watching it at home, then god bless you.
Rating: 3.56 on 5