In order to gross out one of my female colleagues, I described the movie '300' as "A bunch of hunks in their undies, strutting their abs."
She got grossed,sure. But the description ain't entirely off the mark either.
My friend Vishwam might be furious when he reads this - he loved the movie. In fact, while we returned from the theatre on bike, he did all but leave the bike handle, in his eloquent praise of the movie.
Hey, I liked it too. But it didn't stop me from being disappointed for the following reasons.
1. IT LOOKED SO ARTIFICIAL !!! Now I'm a great fan of the game Age of Empires, and this movie is like exactly that - Battle scenes made large - a small army of 300 against a huge army of a million ! Except that this army is a bunch of professional soldiers, against a motley army of slaves.It looked exactly like that - a computer game. The fight sequences were artificial, they had to be - there was so much gore.
With the way today's computer games are getting more and more realisitic, there was little to chose between them and the movie.
Gladiator is another movie which (obviously) used graphics. But nowhere in Gladiator were the scenes so obviously artificial.
2. GREEKS vs...BLACKS ?? - Battle of Thermopylae, was between that of Xerxe's Persians and the Greeks led by King Leonidas. Where did the Africans come into the picture ? Persians are FAIR, NOT BLACK ! This itself would make any history buff squirm uncomfortably in his seat. Even Emperor Xerxes is depicted as a black. When will these Hollywood chaps learn ??
( They DID mention, that this movie was an adaptation of a graphic novel** of the same name )
3. MACHO MACHO. "Aah..u must be...Xerxes" says Leonidas, with an indifferent shrug, a la James Bond. While it was very well
done. it was a bit overdone too. The whole movie was about being Macho - rippling muscles, roars of "Spartans !!" and killing Persians without wasting a stroke.
Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie too. Especially the scene where the sky darkens because of the number of arrows shot in the air. And the lead hero and heroine were good actors too. Maybe that actually saved the movie. Else it would have become a mindless action-historical movie like "Alexander".
And I knew I had to keep my brains at home, if I wanted to watch this movie at peace.
You better, too.
** - What on earth does a 'graphic novel' mean ? I think it means a comic.