Thursday, June 21, 2007

film: "300"

This is the one where these 300 Spartan soldiers face off against a zillion slave soldiers of bi-curious Persian Emperor Xerxes. As you know, it is adapted from a comic by Frank Miller and filmed in a CGI-tastic manner similar to that used in Sin City. It is enjoyable enough, but maybe not as totally brilliant as it might have been. The whole subplot about the Spartan Queen and the evil Spartan traitor in league with the Persians is grand in and of itself, but essentially irrelevant to the main story and plainly only there to have a hot woman character on screen for a bit longer. The depictions of the combats between the Spartans and the Persian troops are also problematic. Apart from one fight early on, the Spartans do not fight as proper hoplites (in a wall of shields). This is somewhat unrealistic, as it would in practice allow the greater numbers of the Persians to come to bear on them.

Overall though, this is a very enjoyable film set in a testosterone-fuelled age when men were real men, not afraid to hang aroung with other men while not wearing too many clothes. I wonder would Leonidas draw comfort from the thought of his story still being told 2,500 years after his heroic death?


Big Boss said...

That's my problem with the film and why I haven't gone to see it. I keep wondering why hoplites would go out wearing knickers and cloaks and nothing else. I mean even peltasts had some armour. And yes, I get that it's based on the comic but still.

Does it at least feature the other armies that fought?

ian said...

Do you mean the other Greek contingents at Thermopylae? They are there, but I recall the film glossing over more Thespians than Spartans dying at the last stand.

On the clothing and armouring of hoplites, I have heard it said that they often did not war much in the way of armour or clothes. Once you had a shield and a helmet you were a hoplite.