Once Leonidas goes off to confront the Persians, Queen Gorgo gets mixed up with an evil politician (Dominic West), who promises a troop surge if Gorgo will have sex with him. He assures her that she will not enjoy it.
In Miller’s telling, Sparta’s King Leonidas has a wife, Queen Gorgo, but she’s barely seen. The film enlarges her role and gives the royal couple a son. Then it has them share a rueful goodbye in a pretty, Gladiator-esque wheat field.
Remember the cool fantasy battlefield carnage in the Lord of the Rings movies? 300 dips into similar territory with a giant attacking rhinoceros and a bald, super-muscled warrior who flexes his way out of his own chains.
TREE OF DEATH
Just how vile a threat to Sparta and Greece is the invading Persian army? The movie beefs up the atrocity factor by showing the Spartans coming upon a ravaged village where slaughtered citizens are strung up naked.
The creepy, desiccated old priests who guard Sparta’s young female oracles also get it on with them, and in one gross shot, a pocked priest licks one poor girl on her neck. Says director Snyder, ”I love that bit — it’s fantastic.”