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Troy (2004) - Wolfgang Petersen

Troy (2004) - Wolfgang Petersen [Amazon.com]

There are many reasons to recommend Troy as a good ol' fashioned Hollywood epic, especially if you've never read Homer's The Iliad. Dispensing with Greek gods altogether, this earnestly massive production (budgeted at upwards of $200 million) will surely offend historians and devoted students of the classics (for them, there's the History Channel's Troy). But there's politics aplenty in the grand-scale war that erupts when Trojan prince Paris (Orlando Bloom) makes off with Helen (blandly beautiful German model Diane Kruger), wife of Spartan ruler Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), whose brother, the Greek king Agamemnon (Brian Cox) prods him into enraged retaliation. Greek warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt) brings lethal force to his battles (and there are many of them, mostly impressive), and his Trojan counterpart, Paris's brother Hector (Eric Bana), adds even more buffed-up beefcake to a film so chock-full o' hunks that there's barely room for Peter O'Toole (doing fine work as Trojan king Priam) and even less for Julie Christie, appearing ever-so-briefly as Achilles's melancholy mother. The drama is nearly as arid as the sun-baked locations (Mexico and Malta) that stand in for the Aegean coast, and many critics suggested that Pitt (who valiantly tries to give Achilles some tormented dimension) was simply miscast. But when you consider that Wolfgang Petersen also made The Perfect Storm, there's nothing wrong with enjoying Troy as a semi-guilty pleasure with a touch of ancient class. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Troy is a movie released on May 14, 2004 about the Trojan War, which is described in Homer's Iliad and other Greek myths as having taken place in Anatolia (modern Turkey) around the 13th or 12th century BC. It stars, among others: Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, Sean Bean as Odysseus, Diane Kruger as Helen, and Peter O'Toole as Priam. It is directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and written by David Benioff.

The movie takes a liberal interpretation of the events described by the Iliad as well as the historical information about the Trojan War. For instance, the entire war from the time of Helen's abduction by Paris until the fall of Troy took ten years and not the few weeks depicted in the movie. Many characters are missing (notably, Diomedes); others are killed differently than is described in the myths (notably, Agamemnon). There is also a lengthy romance between Achilles and his captive Briseis which is not found in the original stories. According to archaeologists, the culture of the Trojan era is not accurately depicted in the movie, nor is a geography.

The gods are not present in the film at all, and it appears that the filmmakers intended the film to present the "real" story that spawned the myth, rather than the myth itself. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_%28movie%29 [Oct 2004]

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