I recently watched 300, which is an awesome movie, for the first time in several years. It will probably make you insecure about your pathetically average body, because every single Spartan soldier is chiseled like Michelangelo’s statue of David, but it’s still awesome. That being said, there was one particular scene that didn’t sit right with me.
At the end of the film, when Dilios (stupid fucking name) is giving his speech to the Greek army, which has assembled to fight the Persians after the slaughter of Leonidas and his crew, some glaring obstacles are ignored.
Then, when this facially-crippled genius finally makes his way to the front of the army, he doesn’t even bother turning around to face the men. At this point, he’s essentially giving a speech to himself. Congratulations, Dilios, you’ve managed to convince the entire army that a rambling madman wearing an eye patch is leading them into battle, while only psyching up yourself.
He even mentions that there are over 30,000 soldiers present. Maybe six or seven of those dudes caught a whole sentence of his epic speech.
Here’s a conversation between two soldiers that were six rows back:
Soldier #1: Who the fuck is that pirate up front, and what is he saying?
Soldier #2: I don’t know. I can’t hear a damn thing.
Soldier #1: Are we heading into battle? Was there a truce? What’s the deal?
Soldier #2: No idea, bro. Hold on. Is he charging? Are we all charging?
Soldier #1: Fuck that. I’m not charging. I’m out.
Soldier #2: Right behind you.
I’ll give Dilios this: he chose a solid speechwriter. Had he been handed the world’s most powerful megaphone, or a microphone hooked up to a high-quality set of concert speakers, he might’ve actually made a difference.
Not surprisingly, this isn’t the only cinematic military force in history to struggle with the limitations of an acoustically challenged battlefield.
Take Braveheart, for example.
When the crowd cheers, it’s only because they’re excited to see what they think is a psychotic midget wearing blue face paint on horseback. They assume he’s the pre-battle entertainment.
“Oh hell yes! They brought a midget! Look! It’s riding a horse and has its face painted like a clown! SCOTLAND! FUCK YEAH!”
He’s not alone, though. Aragorn has some issues later on in the same film.
Here’s an example of an epic pre-battle speech executed to perfection: