Honor, Blood, and Gore in Frank Miller’s 300
If there’s one Hollywood movie that would satisfy every man’s alpha-male fantasies, Zack Snyder’s 300 would have to be it. Exploring the topics of loyalty, honor, betrayal, glory, courage, and war, 300 is a fictionalized version of the Battle of Thermopylae, and is filled with blood and gore from start to end. The 2007 testosterone-heavy, historical fantasy movie is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same title, who also served as the movie’s consultant and executive producer.
300 is about the Spartans’ battle against Persian king Xerxes (played by Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of more than 100,000 soldiers. Despite Sparta’s elders’ opposition, and his army being outnumbered, King Leonidas (played by Gerard Butler) led his army of 300 soldiers into battle to defend Sparta’s freedom and glory. As Leonidas and his army battle it out with Xerxes’ soldiers and fierce creatures, Queen Gorgo (played by Lena Headey) rallies support for her husband from Sparta’s council and elders.
The movie starts by showing the viewers a backgrounder of how men are groomed to become soldiers in the kingdom of Sparta – the training they go through, as well as the defining trial to determine whether a young man is ready to defend Sparta and fight for its glory. Most of the scenes were shot with a blue screen, to make the graphics visually superior and to duplicate how Frank Miller illustrated the scenes and locations in his graphic novel.
300 was a box office success, although critics were divided as to whether the superior visuals and graphics made up for the lack of depth in character development. The movie also became controversial because of its political undertones; how the ancient Persians were portrayed, as well as the lines used to refer to ancient Greeks. This 300 movie poster is ideal for Frank Miller fans, and can be useful to those who need to be reminded to persevere even under adverse conditions. (Midterms/thesis season, anyone?)