I was 13 when the action packed historical fantasy film 300 came out, starring Gerard Butler and Lena Headey. The movie followed the legendary 300 Spartans that stood to slow down the Persian invasion, loosely based on real events.
The film is full of graphic fight scenes and will forever be immortalised by the famous “this is Sparta!” kick (which also lowkey makes an appearance in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey). But upon watching this film again, I found myself appreciating it more now that I’m older…
I’m not going to lie; I like Gerard Butler as an actor. I also like Lena Headey. The chemistry between their characters was quite strong and they had some good scenes together. The dynamic between this strong king and his strong queen as equals was quite well done.
I was also surprised to see none other than Michael Fassbender (Magneto) as well as Tom Wisdom (Dominion). It’s quite a surprise to see these actors just as their careers were beginning to blossom.
Look, 300 is by no means the best movie ever made. It does feel really rushed and has some cheesy dialogue at times. But the film was bloody awesome nonetheless (excuse the pun). The fight scenes were brutal and in your face, the politics of Sparta were dirty and the fantasy elements invasive and strange.
I liked how the story was being told through a character’s perspective, so the fantasy elements could be seen as a character using these over exaggerated images to depict the Persians as being mystical and evil to better inspire his army to fight. But in the end, I appreciate the film’s message more now that I’m older.
There was no possible outcome other than dying for freedom. The characters and viewers knew this. And, it makes sense why this film has seen a resurgence in popularity, especially with those who are very vocal against the latest internet phenomenon: ‘Cancel Culture’.
300’s message is clear. Stand for what you believe in, stand for what you think. Stand for your voice. Even when the sky blackens with a thousand arrows, stand for your freedom. Because it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees. And I can see why that is seen as a beautiful death, which the 300 Spartans sought to earn.