300: Art of Violence at its Finest

Watched it in pure digital beauty (no film grain!) in the Grand Cathay last evening. Realized that there is an IMAX version of this movie being released in the US. Singapore Science Centre, are you hearing? On to the film… (Pardon the huge poster here…)

300

The official tag line made me very tempted to change it to “Prepare for gory!”. However, the battle sequences, the blood splatter and the hacked limbs are far from gory; Everything is done so artistically. The comic book like feel throughout the film reminds me of the graphic novel origin and it does has the touch of Sin City. One thing I noticed is that the blood splattered never stains the battlefield. It got me thinking on what the art direction is trying to achieve…

There is focus on story development too. It speaks of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Not all glory belongs to the King in this testosterone filled movie though, as the character of the Spartan Queen (Gorgo) is equally strong. Intellectual and steadfast, she supported her husband in other means even though she cannot be down at the battlefield with him. Memorable quote: “Because Spartan women give birth to real men.” This was said to the ambassador from Persia when he questioned the right of a female to be speaking to him as an equal.

In their fight for democracy and for what they believed in, the 300 strong have transformed into something bigger than themselves. They became a symbol, a message, a story; all of which is immortal and lives on even when the physical self isn’t there anymore. This draws a parallel to the movie V for Vendetta with the quote:

“Beneath this mask there is more than flesh… Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.”

Indeed. Observe all round you and you’d see symbols/ideas that have influenced our everyday lives, long after the originator has disintegrated into dust. The unseen is so much more powerful than any physical objects as they can reside inside the minds of many. It’s not something that can be removed so easily.

Give yourself some time for this movie. I highly recommend it.

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