Please forgive this mere mortal for indulging in such blasphemy. Forgive my sins, for it is us who have been born to sin, and I have.
I saw the movie before my eyes raped the 300 loincloth-clad hot Spartans running amok on the pages of the book. Shamelessly, I admit, the men on screen induce drool like no other movie. I admit, Gerard Butler has never looked better. I admit, I’ve never fallen in love with so many men simultaneously. I admit, I’ve possibly never believed in any man as much as I have believed in Leonidas. I admit… a whole lot of things, and some more.
This is Sparta.
But, of course, I am not the only one to love the Spartans such! Miller himself remains inspired by the 1962 release, The 300 Spartans, and thus gives rise to one of the most visually satisfying graphic novels of all time!
Perv-factor done away with, this fortnight, boys and girls, we talk of 300. Of loyalty, deception, courage, cowardice and not to forget, a whole lot of visual pleasure!
King Leonidas gathers his men—the finest 300 of Sparta—to fight the Persian invasion, led by the rather flamboyant Xerxes, who aims to conquer Greece. The Spartans, however, are over-confident, as they believe that they can throw off X’s huge and extremely well-equipped army at the “Hot Gates”, Thermopylae.
Tonight, we dine in hell!
Rather amused by the bravery of these young men, Xerxes sends forth a messenger to King Leonidas, hoping that the Spartans will surrender in front of the domineering presence of the Persian army. Unfortunately, Leonidas, hot-blooded and loyal, kills the messenger in a fit of rage, and thus starts the legendary battle between the nations. Perhaps, the knowledge of the familiar terrain allowed the men to showcase such bravado in front of an army that spelt doom for them.
But the story of the battle, fought so bravely at the “Hot Gates”, was a story that remains told even to this very day: The story of a brave king and 300 young men, who all laid their lives down for an event that perhaps inspired millions for years to come.
Personally, 300 appears to me as one of the most visually appealing books of all time. Begging to differ with friends and more learned ones, I believe that this book is not only one of the best graphic novels I have ever seen, but artistically Miller’s best work as well.
If you guys are sticklers for historical accuracy, let me warn you, you will be muchly disappointed. But readers, here you will find the unravelling of one of the most theatrical battles fought in the history of graphic novels. The huge oversized panels successfully capture each emotion that betrays the young men and their opponents.
Unlike what most think, 300 is not merely a story about the oppressors and the oppressed, or just about a bunch of hot-blooded young men, lusty for blood. It is about harsh realities, going far away from home, and never coming back. Ashamed, I remain to admit that it made me cry. Not because of the loss, but perhaps because I realised that those who waited at home for them shed tears too.
I recommend this book, not for the justification of the movie or the stories that people tell about it. This one I recommend for the massive visual pleasure that it provides. And of course, the hot men!