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Troy (DVD, 2009, WS)
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Troy : An Epic with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom
May 27, 2004 (Updated May 27, 2004)
Review by three_ster
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Scenes, Cinematography, Story
Cons:Actress playing Helen, Orlando Bloom miscast
The Bottom Line: Troy is an Epic film starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom, which depicts the Trojan wars.
Troy is an adaptation of Homer's novel The Iliad . It was directed by Wolfgang Peterson, who has directed films such as Air Force One, In The Line of Fire The Perfect Storm, and Outbreak. All character driven stories where the actors in the films carried the story. In this film though, it was the story that would be carrying the actors, and he went with people who would be believable in the roles, instead of going to the old-school method of getting dramatic actors/actresses to star in historical movies.
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The movie is set in 1193 B.C. as the two princes of Troy, Hector (played by Eric Bana) and Paris (played by Orlando Bloom) are having fun at a dinner in Sparta. They are being entertained by the King, but Paris has other ideas. He and Helen of Troy (played by Diane Kruger) end up spending much time together during the visit. Upon completion of it, Paris sneaks Helen onto his ship and out of Sparta, with the intent of taking her back to Troy and being with her for all time. Of course the King of Sparta is not pleased with this and Menelaus goes to his brother Agamemnon, (played by Brian Cox) who is the King of Greece, and gets him to seek revenge on the Trojans.
Achilles who has been fighting battles for Agamemnon is recruited to go with the armies of Greece to defeat the Trojans. Achilles is played by Brad Pitt, and the character is said to be the fiercest warrior of all time. He has gained a well-earned reputation of being a great fighter in the internal wars that Greece is having between all of its Kings. He is at odds with Agamemnon, but decides to go because he wants his name to go down in History. He is not satisfied with living a normal life, but rather wants to go down as a hero who has fought the only way he knows how: merciless.
Some background on Achilles that is not covered in the film is that he has a relationship with the Gods that is not touched upon in the movie. Instead, the movie chooses not to involve the Gods in any of the events that take place. Sure, there are references to Apollo and Zeus, but no Gods are involved in the way that Peterson tells this story. This was somewhat of a draw-back to me, because when I read Homer's novels, the Gods always played a large part in the events that took place. Angering them meant sure consequences in most cases, and because of some of the things done during these battles, the Greeks end up being cursed on their trip back to their homes. And we all know how Odysseus ends up playing a large role in Homer's stories. Odysseus is played by Sean Bean whom you will recognize right away from Lord of the Rings. His part is made very minor in this movies, which is a shame, because he is such a good actor.
With Achilles on board, the Greeks sail for Troy in what will turn into the war of a thousand ships. 50 thousand men are taken to the shores of Troy by the Greeks in an effort to kill every last Trojan. There is no double-talk by Agamemnon, he plans on showing no mercy to the Trojans. Priam, The King of Troy, is played by Peter O'Toole in a role that also seems to waste his talents as an actor. He has one great scene between himself and Brad Pitt, but for the rest of the movie he becomes scenery to the battles that are going on around him.
The movie is well done, and the acting is on par with what you would expect from the actors in those roles. Brad Pitt plays a great Achilles, because he is able to pull of the tough-man image, while at the same time showing true emotions when it comes to his dialogue. In a role that shows off his range as an actor, Eric Bana truly shines as Hector, the great Trojan warrior. Every scene that he is in, he ends up commanding the camera be on him just by his mere presence. He was able to not only pull off his role, but make the actors around him look better. But then, we come to a disappointing Orlando Bloom in the film. I could not get past his roles in Lord of the Rings while watching this film. Though he played a much tamer, less courageous character here, it was just that the characters seemed to much alike to differentiate. I loved him in Pirates of the Caribbean, but did not find him enjoyable at all in this film.
One thing to make sure you have in mind when watching this movie, is that it is not intended to follow Homer's writings to the letter. They take a lot of liberties based on how people interact, the relationships between characters, who kills who, who dies, and who ends up surviving at the end of the film. So, make sure that you don't do what I did, and think that you know what is going to happen next in the film. In a way though, it makes it better when you can't figure out exactly what is going to happen, and in a historic epic, where you already know about the Trojan Horse, its good to be able to enjoy the surrounding story.
This truly is an epic film because of the size of the cast and the production value. While making the film, there were actually sets that were destroyed because of storms, and many, many actors were used in the film. They took a lot of time, and spent a lot of money to make this movie, and in the end they have a good product. Just about all the roles are believable, save one. I was slightly disappointed in the actress who played Helen as well. I expected to see someone that beyond beautiful, which would cause 2 nations to go to war over her. Don't get me wrong, she was very pretty, but she was no Goddess.
I do recommend this movie to anyone who saw Gladiator and liked it. This is on par with it, although since the main story has been re-hashed a million times, it can't keep pace with the drama involved in Gladiator. But, this film does stand on its own two feet, and the battle scenes that comprise the war itself are very well done, and very well choreographed.
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