Seeing as this is the last classic film review for 2006, I want to write about a film I feel passionate about, something that greatly changed my perception of modern life. I could have done Clockwork Orange, or some highly acclaimed Hollywood romance like Breakfast at Tiffany’s but those films didn’t really engage me as much as The 300 Spartans did.
I remember watching this film one lazy Sunday afternoon with my family when I was about 11. We were just watching whatever was on TV, and then this feature film started. For all those ancient Greek and Roman experts, you would be familiar with the Battle of Thermopylae, basically, the 300-stong Spartan army stayed to face the mammoth 200,000-strong Persian army in order to let their allied Greek army escape from the impending massacre. That’s what got me when I was young, the selfless act these noble 300 Spartan men made to save others. I was deeply affected by The 300 Spartans when every last Spartan warrior was cut down by the evil Persians. Then I grew up. I realised that warfare was the Spartans’ sole purpose in life.
They wanted to die. They had prepared for it all their lives. In reality they killed ‘weak’ newborns. If they seemed strong enough for the Spartan clan, men were trained at 7 to fight, and women were just baby machines. Ouch, my romantic idea of them was shattered, but not completely destroyed.
Anyhow, The 300 Spartans is far from being a great film due to over-dramatised dialogue, and some dodgy acting, although it will always be a favourite of mine. I still have a soft spot for those Spartans; the romanticised idea of these bronzed warriors dying for their beloved wives, children, and ideology. I want to marry a Spartan, too bad all their males died over 2000 years ago.
DIRECTED BY RUDOLF MATÉ