Friday, March 16, 2007

300: The Review; The Controversy

Once upon a time, Frank Miller was much like fellow comic uber-great Alan Moore, in that Mr. Miller wanted Hollywood to have absolutely nothing to do with his comic work. Unlike Mr. Moore, however, Mr. Miller's works have made a stunning (and creator-blessed) return to the silver screen, and we, the audience, get the dividends.

As I mentioned in my "One-Line Review" on my film website, 300 is a veritable tour-de-force of comic filmmaking. It is everything that a comic adaptation could and should be. Colorful, highly stylized, extremely violent, equally sexy, it's a kick ass ride into cinema, as worthy of being called a film as it was of being called a graphic novel.

That being said, it may not be everyone's cup of tea; it's not really intended for the film snob crowd. It is also, again, extremely violent. And, for those who are misguidingly going to see it for the historical effect, it is pretty much entirely historically inaccurate. But, a roller coaster of historically inaccurate violence it is, and that was kind of the point to begin with.

All things considered, it's a good movie. To some, it's a great movie. I have it somewhere in between good and great, but it's certainly going in the DVD collection when it comes out.

Moving on... the controversy.

It seems that some scholars in Iran are complaining about the film, saying it's another prejudiced way in which American Imperialist culture is trying to portray Iranians as a global negative. I mean, what else would a film showing Caucasian Occidentals fighting black and Arab Orientals have in mind?

Um, entertainment, maybe?

I have something to say to those scholars: shut the fuck up. I'm willing to guarantee them that 300, in no way, shape, nor form, was made with any intent to offend Iranians, or any other Persian peoples, for that matter.

Evidence:

1) It's common knowledge that comic book adaptations are popular in contemporary American film culture, and 300 is a product of that popularity. Given that Frank Miller's previous comic adaptation, Sin City, made such a splash, it's only natural that someone obtained the rights for 300.
2) Related to the first point, period war films are also now popular. Personally, I think 300 was more of a reaction to that horrible film called Troy than anything. As in: "Troy sucked, we can make something better."
3) As much as I hate to admit it, I'm pretty sure the average American has no idea that Iran is located in the heart of the former Persian Empire. And since this is the case, I'm pretty sure few Americans in the audience made any sort of Xerxes/Persia/Iran connection.

Case closed. Go see the damn movie.

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