OFC title


Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

Trojan HorseA beautifully visual film, Troy splashes the big screen with outstanding production design, costumes, fight choreography, and photography – all of the visual elements are perfectly in place. The special effects that I heard so much about didn’t seem at all intrusive – any obvious hint of high-tech would have diminished the look and feel of a film set 3000 years ago.

With notable exceptions, I loved the cast: Brian Cox’s wickedly ambitious Greek king Agamemnon; Brendan Gleeson as the jealous Greek king spurned by Helen; Eric Bana as the Trojan warrior Hector; and Saffron Burrows as Andromache, Hector’s wife. I had a problem with the characters of Helen (the lovely Diane Kruger) and Paris (Orlando Bloom). They started the war!! – by Helen abandoning her husband for Paris. In the film those two are portrayed as sympathetic characters (although Paris is a bit of a wimp) – does that make any sense? The film makes no attempt to address that issue.

Brad PittThat gets me to Brad Pitt’s Achilles. A great physical performance, it reminded me of his wacky boxer character in Snatch (2000) . In that British production he ducked, weaved, and flailed his fists with a fighting style similar to that of his Achilles -- except that Achilles is played straight-up. When Achilles wasn’t talking he was impressive – the problem wasn’t so much his ability to speak his part as the idea that this legendary soldier from ancient times shouldn’t sound like an all-American guy. For that matter, wouldn’t it be fun to see this film with realistic dialog in ancient Greek (with subtitles) – like what Mel Gibson did with The Passion of the Christ? I guess it would turn off most of the teen audience and therefore be a deal-killer for a $200 million movie.

My biggest disappointment is that Troy is told as a straight-up historical action/adventure story. I remember studying The Iliad -- the magical environment of the pagan gods as puppet masters of kings and warriors was the most impressive part. Why they left that out of the film I have no idea. You wouldn’t need a CG Zeus reaching down onto the battlefield but I think it would be fun to see the effects of the gods’ will on the action on earth -- put in some of the magic of Homer’s poem.

For all its problems, Troy is a grand film that I found sufficiently entertaining that it didn’t feel too long at over 160 minutes. Check it out on the big screen.

Images are copyright Warner Brothers.

For more information about this film including detailed cast and crew credits, check out The Internet Movie Database by clicking here.

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