Sunday, May 23, 2004

Troy vs The Iliad

I went to see Troy last Friday together with my brother and a friend of his. I thought the movie was okay, but certainly not as fabulous as some people might think. It’s worth seeing, but if you know something about the story you’re probably going to be annoyed. They’ve made some changes to the Iliad (Ilias) by Homer (Homerus) and most are pointless and incomprehensible.

- The Trojan war only last for about a month in the movie and it doesn’t become clear that the actual war lasted for 10 years.
- Odysseus and Achilles go to Troy for the wrong reasons. In the Iliad (Ilias), Odysseus wanted to stay at Ithaka and Achilles did want to come along to Troy. So why do they make Odysseus convince Achilles to come along in the movie?
- The Greek gods don’t appear at all, while they are rather important in the Iliad
- Achilles dies too late. He should be dead long before the Greek use the horse to gain access to Troy and burn it. Achilles should be shot by Paris before the walls of Troy with a poisonous arrow.
- Agamemnon and Menelaus don’t die in Troy. Agamemnon gets murdered at home after his return as victor from Troy by his own wife and not by Briseis.
- Ajax isn’t killed by Hector. He commits suicide some time after the death of Achilles.
- It is never mentioned that Achilles is immortal, except for his heels. Paris kills him in the movie with a lucky shot.
- Pactroclus is supposed to be a close friend of Achilles (possibly even his lover) and not his younger pathetic nephew.

Most of the acting and casting is decent, but Orlando Bloom was really bad as Paris. The other disappointment was Diane Kruger as Helen. The love story between those two characters just doesn’t come across. There was no chemistry at all. Brad Pitt is a good Achilles, Agamemnon and Menelaus are very well cast because you immediately dislike the two and Peter O’Toole is great as Priam, the old king of Troy. But I must say Eric Bana definitely has one of the best performances as Hector. The highlight of the movie is the fight between Achilles and Hector. It’s beautifully done, intense and exciting, even if you already know what the outcome will be. Sean Bean gave my favourite performance of the film as Odysseus. Unfortunately his role is rather small, but he is very convincing. And if they ever make a movie based on The Odyssey he should be a perfect Odysseus.

In the end it’s still a beautiful movie to watch, but it doesn’t have that much more to do with the Iliad by Homer and there are a lot of other movies that made a greater impact on me than this one…

Click here to take a look at a very funny Penny Arcade comic about Troy.


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