The trailer was released months and months ago. I was attracted. The monotone coloured movie has struck my attention. I remember the last time I saw a movie similar like this was Sin City and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I need not say how much I love them as I somehow felt the colours and treatment was perfect.
I manage to watch it a day after the opening day. When asked what I think of the movie, I can’t help but give it a two thumbs up and said “It’s like Gladiator + Sin City”. Which if you like both, I think you would agree with me it’s a great show and a not to be missed movie.
300 is an adaptation from Frank Miller’s (creator of Sin City) graphical novel with the same title. The movie and novel was inspired and loosely based on a famous historical event, “Battle of Thermopylae”. It is claimed to be 90% accurate to the true events by some critics. This remarks has somewhat make me feel more eager to watch the show. Don’t ask me why but I really love movies done based on true historical events.
300 is a narrated movie by a Spartan soldier, Dilios (David Wenham) about how King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his 300 men fight against the Persian King, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). 300 starts of by introducing Sparta as a military state in Greece where military fitness practically begins at birth. Shortly after birth, the baby was tested. The baby is then brought to the elders by the baby’s father. If the baby is found weak or defective, the baby will be left to die at the slope of Mount Taygetos.
As a little boy, they were trained to be a Spartan soldier. They were brought up to fight and never retreat. Having a shield of their own is basically a dream or a goal which they all are looking forward to achieve. After going through hardship of training, the boys are sent to the countryside with nothing and forced to survive with only their skills. Young Leonidas survived the test when he manage to trap a wolf like animal and killed it.
The movie then focused on Leonidas when he is an adult. Leonidas is now the King of Sparta. The excitement of the movie soon begins when a Persian messenger (Peter Mensah) arrives at Sparta with message from the Persian King Xerxes. Xerxes send his messengers offering blandishments if Sparta would submit to Persia, and asking for “earth and water” from Sparta as a token of their submission. The messenger was kicked down a well by Leonidas when the messenger asked them to give in to Persian, insulted Leonidas’ wife Gorgo (Lena Headey) and threaten Sparta by bringing head of Kings from other cities that refuses to submit to Persia.
Being a selfish politician who cares nothing but his own interest, Theron (Dominic West) is totally against Leonidas as he was bribed by the Persians. Before going to war with the Persians, Leonidas went to visit the Ephors to ask for permission while explaining his plans and offering gold as it is one of the Sparta’s law and even the King is not above the law. Only the most beautiful girls from Sparta is selected to be the Oracle which partly the reason is to comunicate message from god to the King and to quench the sex thirst of the ugly Ephors. The Ephors which was bribed by Xerxes interpreted the Oracle’s (Kelly Craig) message whereby it forbids Sparta to go on a war against Persia as to not interfear with the Carneian Festival.
As the King of the military state and as a Spartan King, Leonidas can never break the rules and abandon the law. Gorgo then advice Leonidas to think as a free man and what a free man would do instead of putting himself in the King’s position. Enlighted by his wife’s advice, Leonidas gather 300 of his best soldiers (knowing to a certain extend that he is going through a certain death and his forces is not enough for a victory, Leonidas only selected men who have sired sons who are old enough to take over the family’s responsiblity).
When Theron and the other elders were trying to stop Leonidas from going to the war stating that he could not disobey the Oracle, Leonidas said he was simply going for a walk and the 300 men is his personal bodyguard. With that, Leonidas and his 300 men sets of to the Hot Gates (Thermopylae). Before Leonidas leave, Gorgo asked Leonidas to return with his shield in glory. For many, this line probably would bring the meaning of Gorgo giving blessing to Leonidas. However, based on true Spartan customs, if a soldier were to return to Sparta alive without his shield, it is assumed that they threw the heavy shield to run away from enemy and that retreat act is punishable by death or banishment.
As Leonidas and his men starts to march to the Hot Gates, they met up with a group or Arcadians. The leader of the Arcadians was shocked and think that the Spartans was not serious enough to protect thair own city. The Arcadians make remarks that they brought more men to war compared to the Spartans. Leonidas then step up and asked some of the Arcadian mens their occupation. It manage to put some laughter to many people when some answer they were blacksmith, potter, sculptor and even a baker. Leonidas then turn around and ask his men what are their occupation. They together tell the Arcadians their occupation is a soldier. Leonidas then laugh and told the Arcadians that he actually brought more soldiers than they do although the number of people was way less.
Upon arriving at the Hot Gates, it started to rain and Leonidas manage to see many of the Persian ship sank due to the bad weather. Thinking not much Persian army left to fight after the bad weather, the Spartan soldiers was in shock when they saw the amount of camps and army at the shore. Leonidas then ordered his men to build a fort out of dead Persian soldiers. The Persian messenger sent by Xerxes asking Leonidas to give in was furious when he saw the fort. His cocky statements triggered Stelios (Michael Fassbender) to chop of his hand.
While the others were busy preparing for the battle, a hunchback Spartan, Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan) who secretly followed Leonidas step up and tries to offer his valuable help to the Spartans. Ephialtes is actually a Spartan whose parents has fled to save him from being left to die at the mountain. He warned Leonidas about the secret goat path that the Persians could use to surround them. Ephialtes request to join the army to redeem his father’s name in the battle but was quickly turned down by Leonidas when he fails to lift up the shield. Leonidas then explain to Ephialtes the shield not only protected the individual soldier but in the tightly packed Spartan Phalanx was also instrumental in protecting the soldier to his left from harm.
The battle soon begins. Using the Phalanx formation, the Spartans gain an easy win against the Persians. Felt angry, Xerxes sents his elite Imperial Guards, the Immortal to the fight the Spartans. Stepping right in to the trap, the Spartans and this time the Arcadian swept out the Immortals. The Spartans even manage to hold on to their position with minimal lost against weird and big animals that they probably haven’t seen in their lives. The Spartans manage to kill the giagantic rhino andthe big and clumsy elephants and force some Persian army down the cliff.
Xerxes was angry with his constant defeats. However, he was impressed with Leonidas and approach Leonidas personally asking him to surrender, promising Leonidas and Sparta wealth and power whereby Leonidas would kneel to no one but only to Xerxes, the self-proclaim God King. Leonidas declined Xerxes’ request and promise to make the God King bleed.
The angry Xerxes then lures Ephialtes with beautiful woman to spill out secrets on how to defeat Leonidas. Felt secured and wanted, Ephialtes told Xerxes about the secret goat path in exchange for a powerful position in the Persian empire (which includes a nice uniform).
At one fight, Astinos’ (Tom Wisdom) head was beind chopped off. Father or Astinos, Captain Artemis (Vincent Regan) went crazy and out of formation. Sadden by his son’s death and the news that Ephialtes betrayed them, the Spartans swore that they will fight till the end. The Arcadians decides to retreat. All Spartans are ready to fight the Persians, however Leonidas sends Dilios back to Sparta and use his gifts to tell the story of the brave 300 men to the Spartan people, ensuring that they be remembered.
Back in Sparta, Queen Gorgo is doing everything she could to save her husband. Following her trusted council man’s advice, she tries to get Theron to support her at the council meeting since Theron is a respected and honorable politician. Theron agrees to help Gorgo only if she agrees to sleep with him. Feeling helpless and knowing Theron is the only person who could her her persuade the council to send reinforcements to Leonidas, she have no choice but to agree to Theron’s wants.
When Queen Gorgo appear in front of the council, she pleaded them to send reinforcements to help Leonidas. Theron not only did not help her, instead he accused her for adultry and seducing him. The angry and felt betrayed Gorgo grab a sword from a nearby soldier and stab Theron. When Theron fall down to the ground, Persian gold coins fall from Theron’s money bag as well.
At the Hot Gates, Leonidas and his men was surrounded by the Persian soldiers. Xerxes’ men asked Leonidas to surrender whereby he could still keep his title as king and become the warlord of Greece, answering only to the God King, Xerxes. Ephialtes even joins in and tries to persuade Leonidas to surrender. Leonidas threw away his shield, sword and kneel down. Just when all the Persian soldiers think Leonidas is about to surrender, Leonidas throws his spear at Xerxes and cut his cheek which delivers his promise to make the God King bleed. Xerxes then signals for his men to war.
The sky is seen to be covered with arrows whereby the remaining Spartan soldier was killed and Leonidas dying. It was then shown where Dilios return to Sparta and tells the tale of what happened to Leonidas and 300 men. The movie then ended with Dilios concluded how the Persians army have such difficulties defeating 300 Spartans must now be terrified to face thousands of Spartan army. Dilios then signals the beginning of a new war, Battle of Plataea.
Like I say, I totally love the colour correction and monotone feel despite how many think it was flat and unappealing. I somewhat felt it gives the movie a greater depth. Not to mention the colours really manage to cover everything else and make you focus on the story and character itself.
The post production team really did a great job. And if there is one thing i would complain, that would be the bloods splashing out like nobody’s business yet the men are dead clean. Without a single blood sticking to their body, face, armour or sword.
Yes, I somewhat think their choice for casting is appropriate. Someone known yet not too famous that steals the limelight of the movie. This makes one focus more on the character in the movie itself instead of comparing it to real life personalities itself.
Overall, I think it is one of the best movie I have seen so far this year. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT.
300 was last modified: April 3rd, 2017 by velverse