Troy: One Pagans View

First off, this review will be riddled with “spoilers”, so if you want to see this film untainted it’s best to turn away now.

Now then, Troy. First off, this story is based off of Homer’s The Illiad (I prefer Fagles’ translation btw) and is simply put one of the greatest stories ever told.It is also a story that interweaves with many others, The Illiad is a tale that in many ways is like a huge superhero cross-over tale. You have gods and goddesses, kings, heroes, prophets, and common men and women rubbing shoulders and participating in a story that will reverberate down the ages.

This movie is not even close (but to be fair, it would be almost impossible to film the Illiad in a manner that did the text full justice)

First off, the good.

The visuals are very nice and the computer effects are mostly subtle.

The costumes seemed pretty authentic (though I’m no expert in that area).

Peter O’Toole does a fine job and has some of the best scenes in the movie.

Eric Bana was a fine Hector and embodies much of what I tought the character stood for.

Sean Bean also brought some nice nuance and wit to an under-used Odysseus

While the gods don’t factor in as characters there are several mentions of the importance of the gods and in general they don’t portray the characters as willful agnostics.

OK, OK, Brad Pitt looked pretty cool when he was fighting.

Oh, and props for leaving Aeneas in the story.

Now then, the bad (and let me tell you it’s pretty bad).

No Cassandra.

No Hecuba.

Agamemnon is killed by Briseis

Menelaus is killed by Hector after a botched dual between Paris and Menelaus

Ajax is killed by Hector.

Helen and Paris escape together.

Achilles inside the Trojan horse.

Achilles in love with Briseis.

No Amazons.

So basically, the whole story is ruined and botched for a convienent “happy” ending and lame “heroic” death. Major characters are written out and a ten year war is compressed into a couple weeks.

I’m sure that if you never read The Illiad you might enjoy it as it’s own entity unique from the story. But for a mythology buff like me, I’m sadly underwhelmed.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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