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Troy

 
blacksmith
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Well, I read some interesting reviews that made me think I might want to see this movie. The reviews critique the movie for not being true to Homer's original in that Achilles is a petulant bully, Paris a simpering playboy, and only Hector has any nobility of character. Since in Homer's original, Achilles is a petulant bully, Paris a simpering playboy, and only Hector has any nobility of character, I was hoping that the reviewers simply hadn't read their Cliff Notes carefully, and that the rest of the movie was true to Homer's original as well.

But no - the characterizations are fine, but the plot is all changed around. Further, it's not changed around for any discernable reason - there isn't any more of a central story line than in The Iliad, and most of the subplots are removed as well, with nothing to show for them. Helen ends up on the wrong side, but it seems to happen almost randomly, without helping the story at all. And given that they're not trying to idealize the characters into shining heros or evil villains, why do they shy away from the original motivation for the war - sacking a city for treasure and women?

Still, there were good special effects in the battle scenes, and the individual combat scenes were excellent - Brad Pitt's agility is almost as good as Ray Park's in The Phantom Menace - so the evening wasn't a total waste.
 
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The main reason I want to see it now is that I found out that Priam is being played by Peter O'Toole. "Lawrence of Arabia," as portrayed by O'Toole, was certainly a boyhood hero of mine.

With regards to the accuracy, I find that my sensibilites aren't really offended by changing around the story, as long as the result is something entertaining. Whether or not that goal is acheived I cannot judge without seeing it.
 
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<h1>SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER - DO NOT READ BELOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE OR DON'T WANT IT POSSIBLY RUINED</h1>

The only thing I really didn't care for was when Achilles is shot through the Achilles Tinden at the end, unless you know the story and why that is his only point of vulnerability, it makes no sense that it was so dramtic. Yeah, being shot in the Achilles tinden is gonna hurt like crap, but the significance of it is lost.

Other than that, it wasn't horrible. The fight scene between Hecter and Achilles was excellent. SE's were good. And for the ladies (and gay men) you get to see Brad pit without clothes on quite a bit.
 
Warren Dew
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O'Toole is still a good actor, though Priam is really a supporting part in this movie. There's only one scene where he really gets the spotlight.
 
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so they violated the original story in important ways, nothing new there.

I got quickly disgusted with the LOTR movies because of just that, being a big fan of the books (I currently own 4 copies plus a copious amount of related material).
 
Desperado
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Now you all know where the term "Achilles' heel" (a vulnerable point) comes from.

I have been a fan of the story since the poor 1950s version of the movie:

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0049301/
[ June 14, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]
 
Wanderer
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I suspect many of us already knew where the term came from.

Interestingly, Brad Pitt apparently injured himself while filming one of the fight scenes, seriously enough to delay production several days while he healed. (Also pushing back production of his subsequent movie Ocean's Twelve.) Apparently he had a bad landing after a a (cough) "Kung-fu style" leap in one of the fight scenes. Guess which specific body part was damaged.

As for the topic - well, I still haven't seen the movie myself yet. But I note that the title is "Troy" rather than "The Iliad", and in general the marketing doesn't seem to emphasize the connection to Homer's epic. For me at least, that means they get a bit more leeway in reinterpreting things. Think of it as a possible way events at Troy might have unfolded, which may or may not bear some similarity to the best-known fictionalization of those events. There really was a Trojan war in the real world after all, and I don't think that the Greek gods were actually directly involved. So I'm willing to, err, "suspend my disbelief" to watch a version that minimizes or removes overt supernatural influences. I wouldn't mind seeing a really faithful adaptation either, but such things are exceedingly rare. (And frankly the recent LotR movies were far, far more faithful than I would have expected any movie adaptation to be, ever.) What works well in verse or prose doesn't necessarily work as well onscreen, and changes are invariably made. Fortunately the original works are quite unaffected by this process, and in some cases we also get a new work that's worth watching.
 
Warren Dew
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Jim Yingst:

There really was a Trojan war in the real world after all, and I don't think that the Greek gods were actually directly involved.

I dunno, there's pretty convincing archeological proof that Troy's wall foundations were earthquake damaged ... doesn't that pretty well demonstrate Poseidon's involvement, at least, in his guise as god of earthquakes?

Seriously, the lack of Gods showing up on screen didn't bother me - most of their appearances on the battlefield even in Homer can be interpreted metaphorically. In fact, the movie can be interpreted as having a strong element of divine retribution against Achilles that isn't present in Homer.

I don't mind when things are changed to fit a different medium, or even to make a better story. The liberties taken in Disney's Beauty and the Beast were fine with me, for example.

What I do object to is change solely for the sake of change, especially when the changes are for the worse. I think that in this case and in Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies, retaining more elements of the original plot would have been a clear improvement even within the framework of a movie - and I think it can be done, since Bakshi's version of the latter, for all its faults, did manage to be more faithful to the original Tolkein than Jackson's.
 
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
(I currently own 4 copies plus a copious amount of related material).



Wow, I thought I was odd for having three copies....
 
Joe King
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:

Seriously, the lack of Gods showing up on screen didn't bother me - most of their appearances on the battlefield even in Homer can be interpreted metaphorically. In fact, the movie can be interpreted as having a strong element of divine retribution against Achilles that isn't present in Homer.



When I heard that the gods wouldn't be included in the film, I was interested to see how they would get around certain aspects of the story that involved the gods, one example being where Aphrodite rescues Paris from a duel and carries him off. By and large the film seemed to cope with these differences ok...but.....


What I do object to is change solely for the sake of change, especially when the changes are for the worse.



.... absolutely. Anyone else think it was a bit tacky at the end when Aeneas shows up? Also there is a slight discrepancy in that the whole fight takes about two weeks instead of ten years. The biggest (and most pointless change) for me was having Menelaus and Agamemnon killed in the fight, and allowing Helen to escape. The Odyssey mentions that both survived the war (although Agamemnon came to a sticky end when he got home), and Helen went home with Menelaus - Odysseus mentions meeting her there during his journey home.

For the pedants out there, one other aspect that was changed was when the wooden horse was taken into the city. The key thing missing is that the Iliad mentioned a prophecy that Troy would not fall until the keystone of the gate was removed. Later on Odysseus would make the horse just a little bit too big to fit through the gate, so the Trojans removed the keystone to allow it to get through. This, like other minor differences (such as the Greeks being worried about landing at the beach because of a prophecy that the first soldier on the beach would be the first to die) are not really that important to the story line, and were in general handed ok.
[ June 15, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
 
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