Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: Troy

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom

Year: 2004

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rated: R

Length: 163 min.

IMDB Summary: An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.

What most impressed me about Troy was the togetherness of the film. With an epic as monstrous in proportion as the Iliad, the film managed to add a sense of cohesiveness to the plot, using the themes of fate and the gods, as well as a narration by Odysseus, to give the film's numerous characters and scenes some connection. Pitt's portrayal of Achilles and Bean's portrayal of Odysseus make this film a worthwhile watch. Although Bana falls flat as Hector--humanizing him to the point of weakening him as a figure of war--Bloom gives a decent performance as Paris, the cowardly lover of Helen, who comes off as an airy supermodel rather than the beautiful but deep-thinking character she is in the Iliad. The Briseis subplot gave the film an interesting twist. Her audacity to talk back to the Greeks' greatest warrior may be a little far-fetched, as she is portrayed as a royal priestess reduced to slavery and may more accurately be experiencing fear rather than a desire to preach to Achilles at the risk of her own well-being. However, I found the moral dimension added by Briseis' character an interesting twist to the plot and not necessarily a bad one. The Patroclus subplot, on the other hand, was a change for the worse. The choice to portray Patroclus as a weak cousin to Achilles muted the intensity of Achilles' love for Patroclus because it made Achilles' love appear to be pity for a weaker man rather than love for a friend he respects as his equal spiritually (though certainly not physically). Had the filmmakers portrayed Patroclus as an average soldier and a thinking man--rather than as a clueless weakling--and had they shown Patroclus and Achilles conversing deeply or singing songs together (as they do in the Iliad), then Achilles' raging behavior later in the film would have made far more sense to the audience. Overall, Troy has impressive cinematography, exciting battle scenes and, for the most part, good casting and an average script. This film is definitely worth a watch.

For Parents:
Some intense battle sequences and a few sex scenes

My Rating:
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