Wednesday, March 21, 2007

300 for 150

A good movie is always worth the money you paid for. 300 is a good movie. Not really something I would plan to watch, not with all the blood and dirt but I went ahead just the same. The truth is, I gave in to an officemate’s invitation with a few coaxing from a couple of 300 film reviews which I’ve read without the authors knowing. I’d say my 2 hours and 5 minutes turned out as time well spent.

Initially, 300 is about the Spartan King, Leonidas, and 300 of his best soldiers facing the thousands of men of a Persian king who fancies himself as god and probably as a lady. (Note that I added the latter part of that conjunction.)

Being the big film that it is, the movie goes beyond its well-buffed main characters and capitalizes on courage, loyalty, women’s role in a man’s world, leadership, honor, and all of those good stuff you can think of.

Personally, even with his eight-pack abs (it extends up to his stomach and lower chest, really—a result of rigorous workout) Leonidas would have lulled me to sleep. But the cunning makers of this movie weren’t all about drawing audiences to drool over manly meat. They wanted their art to matter. And they were successful.

Leonidas wasn’t like Maximus of Gladiator who was a hunky bore. He was more rounded than Russel Crowe’s character. He was regal, sexy and witty. And he was all three at the perfect time he needed to be. He was dignified and well-endowed…with a healthy sense of humor—exactly the factors that made this film more than just about war and serious talks albeit it being set during a war where serious talks often commenced.

The cinematography of this film is impressive—what with a year and a half of perfecting it! And if I further rave how great this film is I am afraid I will really go beyond the 300 word-quota I’ve set in writing this review as I am now on my 342nd.

We all know that the Spartans are warriors and part of their culture is their impenetrable defensive formation better known as phalanx. The phalanx got me thinking. Why can’t we Pinoys work the way a phalanx does? You see, if we work as one unit, we can move forward as the Spartans did amidst the thousands, if not millions of Persians pushing them back. Of course we all have to be committed because when one of us goes astray, our phalanx will have a weak point which may bring us to our downfall. We all wouldn’t want that.

About the traitors, well, perhaps we can take care of them by doing what the Spartan Queen did to their politician traitor: punish him in a way that won’t be quick, that he won’t enjoy because by betraying us, he has ceased to be one of us. Or we could wish him eternal life which he can spend bearing witness to the effects of his betrayal, the way Leonidas wished the Quasimodo-looking character.

When I was studying the Greek life, I always thought of the Spartans as barbaric war freaks. I guess, they’re not that at all. They were warriors, alright, but they were dignified warriors. If we were half as dignified as they were, we wouldn’t see potential politicians dancing on TV just to win our votes. We can be like them though. And if we were, things in our country may be better.

I don’t know.

I just spent hard-earned P150.00 for a well done movie. I got inspired. And perhaps I am finding a way to make the most of what I dished out. I got entertained and if I can improve my country, too, then I will get twice with what I paid for--that's a clear 300 for my 150!

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