300, Review

Harooh! I was up late, last night, to watch “300” on DVD. I thought I’d give it a go on the telly first. And boy, it was rocking!

300 (directed by Zack Snyder) is an adaptation of the graphic novel by Frank Miller, and is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. The film starts with a visually arresting mood to it, and it hardly ever ceases. The surreal beauty of colors and slow-motion in particular just blew me off, and that all for a film based on an epic battle.

Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of over one million soldiers. The story is framed as a narrative, more of an opera and less of a documentary.

The very first battle sequence when the Spartans wait for the Persians to come closer and closer, and the phalanx combat thereafter, was true perfection. Specially considering that the film was shot mostly with bluescreen to duplicate the imagery of the original comic book. The CGI graphics stunned me at times — with their reality in each frame. The blood, the fire, the rain, the topology, all looked surreal, maybe delibrate as well, to introduce the fantasy elements into the film. Its no pun, if a film is shot in 60 days and takes almost 60 weeks in post-production. The flowing effect of the Oracle dancing scene, for example, was provocative. It seems it was accomplished by filming the actress under water.

One particular conversation between two soldiers hovered in my mind for a bit:

It is an honor to die at your side.

It is an honor to have lived at yours.

For me, 300 was largely about the eye, than the ear or the mind. And a bit of the heart, for the tandem binding between bravery and tragedy. It was an enriching visual experience. The film kept me glued throughout.

The storyline was not much different that most epic’s, but it had the grip. I’ll rate the movie a 7 out of 10. Having said that, I’m still enticed to watch it again on the big screen!

Update: Here’s some interesting reading, analogies for the tech freaks from the film “300” — 5 Lessons IT Managers Should Learn from “300”, and 5 More Lessons IT Managers Should Learn from “300”

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