I was expecting a lot of things from the movie “300,” but I wasn’t expecting it to be funny. I was expecting the grand visuals, the epic story, the heroic characters, and yes, over-developed pectorals, but I wasn’t expecting it to be funny. Those Spartans have mastered the art of trash talking to the grandest degree. If it had been a battle of arrogance they would have handily won with nary a single casualty, never mind Xerxes’ delusions of divinity. “Nobody’s allowed to die tonight!” “Kneel before you? You see I’m going to have a problem with that. The whole morning spent killing your men has cramped my knees” “We might as well have sent our women to fight, judging from what I’ve seen so far.” He he, kulang na lang sabihing “Wala ka sa lolo ko!”
I guess that kind of treatment was just right, because if they’ve taken themselves seriously they would have looked, well, ridiculous. This way, it’s like, we’re going to get killed anyway, might as well have fun doing it. A friend of mine told me that was really the style in the Frank Miller graphic novel, which of course really intrigued me. I wonder where can I borrow one 🙂
However, the overly-stylized treatment did not really sit well with David Wenham and Rodrigo Santoro, both of which were quite unrecognizable from how they looked in the movies I remember them from, The Lord of the Rings and Love, Actually. Rodrigo Santoro, especially. I was like, sya yun?? His Xerxes was hilarious. I thought he was just a decoy lyp-synching his lines and the real Xerxes, who would turn out to be James Earl Jones, was hidden somewhere behind. Of course, believing himself to be immortal, Xerxes would see no need for a decoy, and would boldly show himself within spear range of his enemies. Too bad Leonidas missed. As for Faramir, este, David Wenham, let’s just say that he finally had his Aragornic speech in this movie, and I half expected him to declare “For Frodo!” instead of “To Victory” towards the end.
In the movie Letters from Iwo Jima, a friend of mine told me that she kept reminding herself that things won’t turn out better for the Japanese, that they lost the war, that the characters she had been in growing sympathy for would very likely die. In 300, everybody knows they’re going to die, and there’s really no sympathy about it, there’s more like glee. I mean, Leonidas would have felt cheated somehow if he’d emerged from that battle alive. He would have done his damnedest to make sure that he died, only asking for eternal glory in return. But of course.
And I don’t agree with those who are complaining that there are too many slow mos in the film. I think that the slash-thrust-parry-occasional-kick fighting style of the Spartans can be developed into an aerobics work-out, complete with shield para may weight training pa, o diba. Calling gym instructors out there, you can offer a “Spartan’s Delight” gym class and maybe, just maybe, I’ll sign up. Depends. If the instructor has muscles like Gerard Butler’s, ha ha. (Actually, the muscles had me a bit bothered. Why the overly-sculpted torso and then smooth thighs?)
one of their fighting strategies – may I tulak lang ng kalaban over the cliff. which of course begs the question, aren’t there other persian forces who could have come up behind them and pushed them as well?