300: a movie, a video game, or a joke?!

Well, it can be any one of the above, or all of them. What it is NOT, however, is a tale of the Battle of Thermopyle even distantly close to reality or even a decent movie worth your bucks. Here’s some more insights from the Christian Science Monitor:

Sparta is rendered, without irony, as the ideal Greek city-state. Boys are taken from their mothers at age 7 to learn the art of war. The Spartan king Leonidas (Gerard Butler) does not think much of the rival Athenians, whom he dismisses as “philosophers and boy lovers.” Far better to hone one’s pecs than one’s intellect.

When a Persian emissary demands that Leonidas submit to Xerxes, the Spartan honcho literally kills the messenger. Despite a lot of oracular mumbo jumbo warning Leonidas to cool it, he assembles three hundred – I guess it’s actually 299 – stalwart hunks to go up against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) knowing full well they all will die…

The Spartans, to a man, are fighting machines who look as if they’ve been spending quality time on their rowing machines. They look like cover models for “Muscle and Fitness” magazine. When they rampage over the Persians, we might as well be watching a WWE Smackdown, Thermopylae-style: “Leonidas vs. Xerxes!!” Pity there was no pay-per view in 480 B.C.

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4 responses to “300: a movie, a video game, or a joke?!

  1. While it is true that the facts are skewed in this “300” movie, it is not for the purpose of merely making a movie using lies as a pretext for history. Movies like these are intentionally made to set the mood and actions of people for a political purpose. Mostly for Americans, these movies prepare the young for war and the lust for blood. Using Middle Eastern themes prepare them to want to kill Middle Easterners. These things are largely responsible for the abuse of many Iraqis and the soldier mentality in regard to them. In the minds of the soldiers, the Middle Easterners are sub-human and movies like the “300” are made to build on that picture.

  2. It’s just a movie; lighten up.


  4. i’m way behind on this thread, but I’ve seen the film, read the comic and read Herodotus. Obviously Miller takes a lot of liberties with the history, visually as well as in regards to context (the spartans accepted homosexuality as normal as much as the athenians did). I see a lot of American films that attempt to rewrite history, and it pisses me off (U571 etc…) and it’s true that I was disappointed with the film for this reason. It does portray the greeks as representing the west, freedom and democracy, and the persians as freakish sideshow monsters. What are they trying to say in this film? It’s a great story, I love it, and the film was exciting and fun to watch but it left a nagging feeling that I’d been watching a propaganda movie.

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