Movie Review: 300

I have done articles on ancient Greece before, so when the movie, “300” was released, I was eager to attend. The main players in the movie were the fierce Spartans, who came to life on the screen through powerful imagery and a bit of narration to help guide the audience. In this article, we will deal with a review of this interesting and vivid account of ancient Sparta and the
Battle of Thermopylae, which occurred in 480 B.C. and told through the movie titled, “300.”


Depending on who you are, the movie, 300 will captivate, keep your interest until the end, or bore you to pieces. I attended the film with my boyfriend and a 15-year old boy (who probably saw less than an hour of the film). My boyfriend wasn’t too keen on the quality of the film, stating that it seemed unreal and too “cartoonish” or illustrated to him. As for me, I thought the movie was romantic, even during times of intense battle. I also enjoyed watching some of the articles I had researched and written come to life.


For example, the Spartans were depicted during ancient times as possessing a great strength and no fear for anything. One of the main points of the film was a strong stance on never surrendering, backing down, or submitting to another. The film took great care to show the extremely chiseled bodies of main characters, especially in battle scenes, where their toned torsos twisted through crowds of oncoming slaughter.


You get the sense they are strong, even from the time they are young children. The boys are taught how to fight with the hands, heart, and mind before they are ushered off to learn the military way of life at the age of 7. While the Romans were known as great thinkers, the Spartans were known for their fearlessness and superior combat skills.


As for the women, they were treated with respect in the sense they were looked upon as equals. The queen freely voices her opinions and in one scene, offends a messenger from Persia, who is appalled at her tongue. Eventually, it is his fate that is decided upon with the slight nod of the queen. The king, who includes her in his decision-making that will ultimately change the course of Sparta forever, silently worships his queen. In more than one occasion, the strength of Spartan women is also highlighted, as the King states he should have sent his women to fight in their place.


The queen plays a key role in the movie. While her husband is off in battle, she desperately tries to woo an all-male counsel to send reinforcements. It is a hard task to accomplish as one jealous party attempts to charge her with adultery. One of my favorite scenes of the movie follows, which I will not reveal. All I will say is that she handles her business in true superior queen fashion.


The fight scenes were entertaining, displaying combat techniques unique to the Spartan way of fighting. Their swordsmanship and the way they used their shields are telling details. Battle formations and strategizing also become important parts of the movie. There are also interesting adversaries that the Spartans meet along the way. Some may find the imagery a bit far-fetched and exaggerated, while others may deem it artistic.


In 300, there is also no celebrity-superstar gazing in this film. Russell Crowe does not lead the men into battle and a well-known American actress does not play the young queen. Overall, I applauded the visual details and at times, the narration was cumbersome. I can see why some may lose interest. For me, I saw the movie for $3.50 and could have easily waited for the rental. The movie is also showing in IMAX theaters so perhaps the experience is heightened. Overall, since I am interested in ancient civilizations, it probably appealed to me more than my companions.