Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The 300

I am very excited about a new film opening next week. It is 300 which is an account of the famous Greek last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. At that battle, a small handful of Greeks slowed the Persians down and inflicted anywhere from 20 thousand to 8o thousand causalities on them. Google has several video clips offering details on the making of the film and theatre trailers.

I do have a slight problem with the title. More than 300 Greeks fought at the battle. There were 300 Spartans but there were also at least 700 Thebians who also fought and died. I know the title is based on the Frank Miller comic book but the Spartans were not the only heroes at the battle. Also, I question the film description that the Spartans were "drawing a line in the sand for democracy." The Spartans fought for many reasons but I do not think democracy was one of them.

From the Google Description of the film:

Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller, 300 is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The film brings Miller’s (Sin City) acclaimed graphic novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic tale.


Alexandra P said...

While I love the idea of 300, there is no way I will be going to see it. I saw Sin City without realising it was MA (Aussie rating, which means you must be over 15 to get into the cinema to see it - usually means it has extreme violence or sex, but not enough to push it up to R, which is 18+). I don't mind violence on the screen, but it was waaay too much for me. And I think 300 will be much the same, from the shorts I've seen. Plus, since it's based on the novel not history, I would imagine it will be... loose... with the historical narrative. Hence the indication that it is only about the Spartans, not the Thebans and others who took part!

Anyway, my 2c... I wish there were a more modern take on the battle, since I think it could be done really spectacularly!

Jean-Fran├žois said...

I'm afraid of Hollywood’s way of putting glorified American values on historical setting. What will happen to this Greek tale? Democrat Spartan? Why not Muslim Persian just to make this even more clear?

I'm expecting the worse. From the Google video, it's not a very difficult bet to do.

Hey, but that mean I can spend that 2 hours on reading a nice book, good for me!

The Minstrel Boy said...

while i love that some people will be reminded of the stand of the greeks at thermopolye i am leery of the comic book angle. this is a story that really doesn't need any "pumping" by hollywood. what happened is compelling enough. there is also a production of stephen pressfield's gates of fire in the pipe. i'll probably wait for that one and netflix this one.