Saturday, March 10, 2007

300   posted by Razib @ 3/10/2007 10:12:00 AM

I went an saw 300 yesterday. The historical inaccuracies were legion of course. That being said I went into it expecting a film adaptation of a comic book (they call them "graphic novels"?). I'm not a fan of comics, so I didn't read Frank Miller's work, nor do I bring a comic sensibility. Daniel Larison has a really good post up on this film which made many of the points I would have made, and without seeing the film! (he read the original work though) You can extract out of this film whatever you want really if you focus on the lull between the battle scenes. A war between the white male West and the multiracial imperium of Asia is pretty straightforward interpretation. Or, one between rational secularity and faith based mysticism is also there. Finally, there is the angle of a progressive and liberal view of history (a "New Age") vs. a static and traditionalist once. As you can tell, for a film which lacks much subtly the broad brush strokes sweep in all directions. Ultimately, 300 was more a lushly realized video game than a live action movie, so the somewhat attenuated plot and character elements loom larger due to their scarcity on the ground, and I think this explains the over-reading by some. For example, the Ru Paulish elements of Xerxes are notable precisely because this character exhibits some depth and personality, repulsive though it is. The user rating over at Yahoo Movies is an A-, with 4,600 votes in so far. At IMDB it is getting 8.4 out of 10 with over 8,000 votes. The core audience is liking it. If you're not a straight male between the ages of 18-35, there is a strong chance you "just won't get it."

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