Troy (2004)

There is something about historical movie adaptations that you simply cannot hate. Even though Troy is an absolute favourite because of its stellar cast and my fascination with Greek history and mythology, but from critic’s point of view Troy could’ve been so much more than it was. Troy had the glamorous A-Listers as its protagonists, it had a script which was powerful and coherent with Greek credo and dialogues, it had a brilliant director in Wolfgang Petersen, but somehow the movie just wasn’t good enough. It seemed a little bromidic and the concept of realism they tried to blend in with the plot was not something I liked. But even after all this being said, if you ever see Troy playing on WB, you better watch it.

The movie begins with a war scene, where the army of Menelaus (Played by Brian Cox) is facing off against another Greek ruler. After a negotiation, they mutually agree on sending their most adroit warrior to battle on their behalf. A giant of a man is sent to face off against the mighty Achilles (Played by Brad Pitt *Starts fangirl screaming*), who obviously was no match for the latter. With just one, jab into the neck, Achilles manages to kill his opponent and also gives an amazing start to the movie.

The movie, then shows us how Sparta and Troy had become allies, and were celebrating their collaboration, but it all broke apart when Helen (Played by Diane Kruger) is caught philandering with Paris (Played Orlando Bloom), the younger Trojan prince. By the time, Menelaus finds about his wife’s infidelity, she has runaway with Paris and his elder brother Hector (Played by Eric Bana), who hesitantly agreed to bring her to Troy, but he was well aware of the consequences that would follow. Menelaus goes to his elder the bother, the patriarchal ruler of Greece Agamemnon (Played by Brian Cox), who disingenuously agrees to go to war with his younger brother, but for a different motive. Then he hesitantly sends Odysseus (Played by Sean Bean) to convince Achilles’ to join him in this conquest. Achilles is practising with his cousin, Patroclus (Played by Garrett Hedlund) when Odysseus approaches Achilles to go for the imminent war. here we get to see the monomaniacal side of Achilles, his obsession with war and his egoistic quest for glory.

He seeks his mother’s counsel, who juxtaposes the cons and pros of going for this war and the scene shifts to Achilles heading for the Trojan beach. He and his myrmidons reach the Trojan beach must faster than the other ships and by the time the second ship arrives, they’ve taken over the beach and ransacked the temple of Apollo. The amazing action sequence and fight choreography leaves you spell-bound and the viewers can feel the thrill of going to war vicariously. A priestess, Breseis (Played by Rose Byrne) is taken captive and Achilles is instantly infatuated with her. Menelaus to spite the impudent Achilles take her away from him and suggests him using her to ‘relieve’ him. Due to this, Achilles refuses to fight for Menelaus and asks his myrmidons not to go to war until they are order to by him. Here the movie, starts it’s down slide. Menelaus leads his army of 10.00 Greek soldiers to the high walls of Troy, but still the Trojans prove to difficult for him and he has to retreat. The next day, the Trojans launch an attach on the Greeks at the beach. The jingoistic cousin of Achilles, wears Achilles’ armour and orders the myrmidons to challenge the Trojans. During the battle, Patroclus meets Hector, the most adroit warrior in Troy and Hector kills him unconscionably thinking he was the mighty Achilles.

On hearing the death of his cousin, Achilles is filled with rage and decides to challenge Hector, Achilles completely dominates his opponent during the fight and disparages at the same time. He kills him unconscionably and ties him to his chariot and rides back to his camp, with Hector’s father and the king of Troy, Priam (Played by Peter o’Toole) watching.

“You gave him the honour of your sword. You won’t have eyes tonight; you won’t have ears or a tongue. You will wander the underworld blind, deaf, and dumb, and all the dead will know: This is Hector. The fool who thought he killed Achilles.”

That night Priam, manages to stealthy enter the Greek camp and enters Achilles’ tent. He reveals himself to be the king of Troy and requests him to give back his son’s corpse so he can give him a proper funeral. Achilles agrees to do so. Breseis discovers Priam at the camp (Breseis is Priam’s niece) and both of them ride back to Troy.The Greeks realise they cannot win the war like this and needed to deceive the Trojans and come up with the famous Trojan Horse tactic. The Trojan’s take the wooden horse into their city, in honour of the Greek god, Poseidon. And come sunset, the Greeks launch an attack from within the city which leads to mass hysteria, death and chaos. Achilles instead of fighting is searching for Breseis and as soon as he finds her, Paris shoots an arrow through his heel, which ends up killing him.

The action sequences, the set production, the dialogues, the costumes are simply the best. The war scenes are so realistic, that a viewer just cannot not be awestruck. Brad Pitt, is well he is Brad Pitt. Long blonde hair, 6 pack-abs body, and that face. His acting simple, yet so amazing. Eric Bana through his simpleton attitude has managed to do complete justice to role of Hector. And Sean Bean was one of the few characters, ironically didn’t manage to die. What I didn’t like in this movie was that it was an adaptation of Iliad, but after a while it just stuck to basic story of the classic, but didn’t include the finer details which make Iliad the classic it is. The demigod that intrigues history-buffs like me wasn’t there at all and that was huge miss for me. The reasons of Achilles refusing to fight for Menelaus is honestly childish, but I guess it does help the movie to move on, so it is forgivable. But yes, I will say Troy is one of the most powerful movies I had seen in the last decade, and Achilles will always be one of my favourite characters.

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