300: Rise of an Empire-Mediocre Vengeance Drama
BANGALORE: Wonder how many viewers would be interested in another version of the oft repeated history of ancient Greece? It's the story of how the Persian King Xerxes, with over 1,000 ships in his fleet, could have easily conquered the divided Greeks in Circa 480 BC. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel "Xerxes", the film takes off on a very verbose expository note by the Spartan Queen Gorgo. Her explanations weave in the loose ends as well as the backstory of the characters, giving an insight into the history of the period. Driven by vengeance, the drama in the "300: Rise of an Empire" runs concurrently to the original "300" but from a different perspective, the naval warfare.
While the earlier film concentrated on the land fight at Thermopylae, this one concentrates on the battle in the Aegean sea, with the storyline running in parallel most often. The inciting moment of the film is when a Greek General Themistokles shoots an arrow killing the Persian King Darius. Darius's son, Xerxes transforms himself from a mere human being to the 'Golden God King' and swears revenge by conquering Greece. In this mission, he is assisted by his fiercest naval commander Artemisia who is a Greek by birth but was brought up by a Persian. So while the Spartan King Leonidas engages Xerxes in a land battle at the "hot gates", the film concentrates on the showdown between Artemisia and Themistokles with a far smaller force, in the sea. The trouble is, even with excellently and cleverly maneuvered tactics on water, the recurring battle scenes eventually leads to visual fatigue.
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