300 – A magnificent portrayal of brave men with beautifully chiseled bodies battling against equally hideous creatures.

For me this single sentence sums up the whole movie. It’s a beautiful movie, provided you can stand spurts of blood, chopped limbs and a lot of slaughtering. Even these aspects may not look all that gruesome since the makers have given it a highly stylized touch, and some of the war scenes have been done so awe inspiringly, I don’t recollect any other movie depicting the battle scene so vividly. You actually feel being on the screen and piercing through the maze of Persians being thrown at you, it’s truly a CGI and animation masterpiece.

Though the movie scores heavily on its brilliant visuals, sound effects and characterization, what it seriously lacks is a strong content. It just ends up a battlefront movie and nothing more. Director Zack Snyder was so hell bent on translating Frank Millers comic book onto large screen that most of the parts of the movie look like comic book stuff rather than looking real. I expected houses, landscapes and humans set in 450 B.C to be more real and life like rather than looking like painted houses, brush stroked backgrounds and monstrous-alien-like creatures. The portrayal of Persian army with warriors from different parts of Asia might trigger off some archeological excavations for a lot of extinct ugly human cousins. These at times look so much prominently out of place that it spoils the whole canvas of the movie. A little more real life portrayal of these might have done wonders for the movie, but then one must understand that Snyder and Miller had other ambitions for this movie.

There is a lot of talk about similarities that this movie bears with its successful predecessors ‘Gladiator’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. The background score and scenes where Queen Gorgo and her son are shown in fields are the only similarity with ‘Gladiator’. But 300 strongly lacks the human touch, Ridley Scott went to great depths in depicting Maximus’s struggle. He made us go through the pain that Maximus endured and the concept of taking vengeance seemed the only palpable, rather a must, climax. However in Snyder’s case, though the men are rightly fighting for the freedom of their country, it looks more like a self inflicted act by a bunch of battle crazy warriors. The creatures in ‘300’ resemble some of those from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, especially the ‘Gollum’ like treacherous ‘Ephialtes’, but the similarities end right there as the trilogy was an epic in all sense (including the length of the movie) whereas 300 is only a glorious depiction of an epic battle. While the battlefront scenes really make a visual splendor the rest of the movie only looks like shady comic book stuff.
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