Troy: The Trojan War on Film

Okay, so call me silly, but I actually liked this one. It, however, was not directed very well, nor was the acting seamless. The casting was pretty good, as was the fight choreography. Brad Pitt’s accent nearly killed me. Oh my god. Could he just stop? We know from Twelve Monkeys and Seven that he is a great actor…but we also know from Seven Years in Tibet and Meet Joe Black that he is kinda crap when it comes to dialect. So can we just not? So why, I hear you ask (albeit silently) did I enjoy this film?

Oh yeah, I also dont care much for Eric Banna. Dont really know why, because he is not bad or anythingthere is just something (and I hate to sound shallow) about his physicality that bugs me, and I’m not sure what it is. I’m sure hes a very nice man, but what can I say: I have issues.

Anyway, aside from me being rife with issues…back to the question in point: why did I like Troy if I did not find many redeeming qualities?

Greek mythology has always been a favourite subject of mine. I love that all the characters that I grew up reading about were manifested on the screen. I thought that the casting was pretty good in that fact: Menelaus, Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Odysseus, Hector, Paris, Priam and even Aeneas were perfect choices. Take Paris, for instance: pretty much a wimp who is led around by his romantic whims. He takes Helen with the attitude of “But I couldnt help it! Look at her, shes amazing and I want to shag her brains in…” Pretty much.

On the field hes a coward and basically avoids any kind of responsibility for starting the whole bloody war until possibly the last second, and perhaps not even then. What a mess. Hence, Orlando Bloom was cast perfectly. (I’m sorry, but I just dont see him as masculine figure…rather, I regard him as more foppish than anything else.) He embodied the character Paris in a perfect way. And of course Brad Pitt is going to be Achilles. Pssh. The finest specimen of warrior, but with an Achilles heel? It just screams “Brad Pitt” and what an irony, eh? Plus, I liked his reasoning behind fighting. A jerk at first, but when he encounter Priam after Hectors death and realizes later he has been swept away by vanity, his reaction is then very human.

Which brings me to the next point. In the final moments of the film (hate to spoil anything, but hello, I think we all know what happens.) when Achilles gets arrows twanged into him…well, I just thought it was brilliant. He gets shot in the ankle first which slightly incapacitates his battling ability then several arrows to the torso, killing him. But those three are the ones he removes in a an “Ah-hah-I-am-Brad-Pitt” moment of strength. So when he collapses, he only has the arrow in his heel. Now, we all know how people talk and how rumours spread, so what better than to assume that’s what happened. Seriously, I loved the absence of the gods in this one. We all know the immortality flaw from Achilles run in with the River Styx, and then Athenas protection and Zeus son and al that mess. But how do we explain it without the gods? Apparently, like this. It was basically a brilliant take on the entire event.

See, everyone takes Greek myth movies for granted, always using the Olympian gods as a fall back to cover any holes. But Troy didn’t. It showed how that story could have grown, but did not lean on the involvement of deities. Well done, is what I say.

Otherwise…the movie was pretty silly if you had no idea of the myth behind it. If you did, however, you could see it as a well thought out presentation of the historical war minus myth: more based on assumed reality that magic ankles and favour of the gods.

I was impressed, in that sense. (I mean, aside from the Trojan War being, like, one on my all time favourite stories…aside from the Odyssey and other such stories…it was just exciting that Hollywood went there, I guess.)

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