Wednesday, May 02, 2007

300: All gore

Yet another adaptation from Greek mythology post Troy and Alexander, in the recent past stormed the theatres recently. After watching 300, while the curiosity about the famous Spartan defense was satisfied to a large extent, the film also turned out to be imminently forgettable. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, 300 is exemplary of style over substance.

Regular moviegoers would foul mouth such claims and today, as it stands, the movie has almost acquired cult status amongst the Playstation yielding audiences. That, although being highly reflective of their indifferent concern to substantial elements in cinema, is also indicative of the sheer power of visuals effects on show, throughout the film.

Directed by Zack Snyder, 300 sticks
true in every frame to Miller’s text. In retrospect, the film’s storyboard is identical to the novel, which is the biggest novelty that is on offer. The myth goes like this - King of Spartan, Leonidas (Gerard Butler) who gathers 300 of his best soldiers to fight the Persian army. Wisely he selects only those who have male children, so that their family name can continue even after their death.

Epic in proportion, daunting in proposition, the Spartans march across till Thermopylae, referred to as ‘the hot gates’ where they are try to defend themselves from being under the superior command of the Persian King Xerxes. The Spartans are tough and they refuse to budge.

What’s more – they chop and chuck every form of attack on the way with incredible valour and spirit. It is here, that 300 begins a treat for the eyes. The raw energy and sheer grace in the choreography of the fight sequences is remarkable. In terms of visual effects, 300 undoubtedly becomes a landmark film. The ripples felt in the rhealm of SFX are similar to those created by the Matrix series during its time. However, the big positive for the action sequences and imaging is the detail and believable nature of every frame. The special effects will undoubtedly be the USP for new audiences to drool over the film.

The screenplay manages to keep the tension and energy palpable throughout. The humour is tongue-in-cheek, but its far and in-between. Since the storyline is wafer-thin and the narration proceeds in a linear fashion without any major hiccups, a sense of predictability creeps in after a point of time. Also, the language used throughout the film is too modern for its time with words like ‘stupid’, ‘Idiotic’ being used generously in the dialogues. Did Greeks ever speak like that? Of course, they did not speak English either, but considering it’s a period drama, a sense of ethos and formal touch should have been a must in the dialogue.

The reason why 300 turns out as forgettable and shallow is ma
jorly because of the thin-storyline and average performances. None of them, goes beyond average, except for Butler who’s energy is symbolic of the film.

300 is a treat while it lasts. In today’s age, where audiences belonging to stressed lifestyles, this might just work for the film. But a great film is a memorable one, which unfortunately 300 does not qualify for.