men, oh glorious men

i am a weakling for flicks with gore or with horror themes. whenever there are movie trailers of, say, saw or hannibal or other really terrifying movies, i am not ashamed to admit that i close my eyes. and sometimes, plug my ears, too.

i watched 300, and i had to close my eyes at the gory scenes: the time when leonidas the boy was whipped, the battles. admittedly, i had my eyes closed for the good part of the movie.

but the sound track and cinematography were amazing. i can go on and on about its merits, but i’ll spare you. what i can say is that i value the movie for giving me an experience of watching several series of paintings bursting on the screen with great sounds as background. it was as if i were watching reels and reels of comic book pages, and i were inside a room with dolby-powered songs playing, and that was enough to pump up my senses.

see, i watched 300, and i saw what man is for the first time.

i love these two scenes: the oracle-lady dancing. it was beautiful: the rippling silk, the taut skin, her words of finality and destruction; i also love the scene where leonidas and his men were pinned to the ground by hundreds of arrows. it was done via aerial shot, so the scene looked like a painting. i remembered juan luna’s spolarium; only, this movie’s scene had more urgency and drama.

the men were beautiful. granted, they had nice skin and ravishing bods, but the thing that attracted me to them was their devotion, their drive to fight for their ideals. in modern times, i see men like these: in control, rabid almost, addicted towards their objects of desire and passion. it’s hard, though, to equate today’s objects of desire to the movie’s time which valued sheer cunning abilities and violence.

i could go on and on about devotion, barbarism, violence, sexism, discrimination, freedom, loyalty, but they might just as well be discussed by other movie reviewers.

mine is different: in the wee hours of the night, i kept saying to myself, “ang ganda ng 300.” for a movie that crept into my mind in nocturnal hours, it must really be this captivating. it had enough omnipresence to invade my thoughts. and i relish those thoughts. i toyed with the movie’s scenes, wondered where the asian villains got all those fighting monsters, imagined leonidas’ skin touching flesh before being consumed by his desire to fight.

i have a colleague at work who missed getting to watch the movie on the opening night and the night after that due to a) work b) loooooooong lines. but the night after he saw the movie, he got sick. oh yes, he was drained because of work. but i would like to be a romantic now. he fell ill because he got overwhelmed by the movie he’d been dying to watch for months. he fell ill because he saw what it would be like to be a real man, to be consumed by something larger than himself. maybe, his atrophied muscles were jarred, shaken to the core. maybe his very center was raw, having taken a mental beating. this is how it is to be man. wham! this is how it is to love your country. boom! this is how it is to touch your only woman. whoa! and so he he fell ill, because it was all new to him, the revelation, the work that would come after it.

i thought it was a typical male flick. if we have chick flicks such as she’s all that, cruel intentions, etc., men have gladiator, fight club, braveheart. i was humbled. only this movie, 300, got into the minds and yes, underwear of women, without blatantly doing so. i think men ought to learn some essential things from this movie. oh well, here goes their learning curve.

to quote a male writer: the movie kicks ass.

yep, and it felt oh so good.

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