Friday, April 13, 2007


Cover of the comic book 300

by Ivy San Diego

It’s very rare that a movie adaptation of a book (or a graphic novel) exceeds the original of artistry of the written literature. 300 is one such rare case where the movie exceeded the reader’s and the audience’s expectations. Director Zack Snyder created a unique exceptional masterpiece in doing this film adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel.

Leonidas, the wise king of Sparta was played by Gerard Butler. Born and raised by the Spartan ideals of honor, duty and glory, Leonidas was a skilled warrior, a loving father and a devoted husband to Queen Gorgo which was played by Lena Headley. When he receives the news that Xerxes’ plans to extend his sovereignty over Sparta through his emissary, King Leonidas adamantly rebuffs this seemingly diplomatic proposal.

Amidst the “bribed” oracle’s objection for Leonidas to go to war, the great king continued to assemble 300 of his finest warriors to face Xerxes and his vast army. This wasn’t about “male ego”; it’s about fighting for freedom and honor. While Leonidas waging war against the Persian army, Queen Gorgo was trying to convince the Spartan council to provide more troops to assist the king and his men.

The graphic fight scenes showed 300 brawny muscular men who fought with dignity to the very end. Seeing an immense army coming at you takes a lot of courage and audacity; the confidence to face death with honor is how Leonidas and the 300 men exhibited the Spartan creed that “Great men are born and bred…”

The graphic novel itself has a simple plot thus the need for a larger-than-life cinematography and Snyder was able to deliver this in a well-crafted picturesque interpretation of Miller’s art. Since the plot lacks the grandeur of Lord of the Rings or the emotional impact of Brave Heart, Snyder used big frames, close-up shots, slow motions and painting-like backgrounds to capture the audience’s imagination.

It is important to note that the actors also gave an outstanding performance. Gerard Butler and Lena Headley exhibited what a true Spartan man and woman is. Their acting was fiery yet controlled. Even the soldiers were fighting with their heart and soul as if it were the last battle they would face that day.

Overall, the movie was excellent. I actually wanted more, it wasn’t a “complete” movie for me but I guess that’s proof that the director and the producer succeeded in expanding the audience’s imagination and for that, it accomplished its purpose in creating a masterpiece.

Ivy San Diego is from Journals. She is a Frank Miller fan.

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