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Halrloprillalar

You can call me Hal.

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So, Troy.
hal
prillalar

I decided that I would watch this, as best I could, without my classicist glasses on. And since I mainly did language and literature, I'm really not that up on stuff like what kind of armour they should have been wearing. So, my comments are generally just about the movie as it stands, not so much as an interpretation of the source material.

That fleet of ships was the most beautiful thing on the black earth.

Lovely battle scenes, I must say. Fantastic hand-to-hand mass confusion, the Great Balls of Fire were such a great visual, and it was rather nice to see Achilles slice and dice with such ruthless efficiency. But the awesomest fight by far was Hektor vs Ajax. God, that hammer! And the way Ajax kept beating on Hektor, no matter how much he was hurt. Wow. I wish I just had a file of that one fight.

Peter O'Toole was luminous. Seriously, just glowing in every scene. I am so, so glad he had that scene with Achilles. But I wish we could have seen more of their grief. Still and all, well done.

All in all, though, I felt unsatisfied. I spent the time on the bus back trying to work out why. I think that the story, as portrayed, just doesn't fit with any of the usual story paradigms we're used to seeing.

I couldn't work out what the themes were meant to be.

  • War is futile?
  • Women cause trouble?
  • Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse?
  • Younger brothers cause trouble?
  • Sean Bean is the sexiest man alive?

Achilles is the main character, but it's hard to work up any empathy for him because he's a big jerk. But the movie tries to stir us anyhow. It's like he's an anti-hero but the movie thinks he's a hero. He didn't do anything particularly good or praiseworthy. And it's not his tragedy either: he knows his choice from the beginning, he decides for death and glory, and he gets it. La.

I couldn't work up any empathy for Paris and Helen either. There was nothing there that convinced me that it was any more than a pretty young girl married to a nasty old man meeting a pretty young boy, so every time one of them angsted about causing all that trouble, I wanted them to suffer even more.

Hektor, of course, is the real hero of the bunch. Maybe it should have been his story instead. *sigh* I've always loved him best, I must confess.

Paris didn't even get to redeem himself. Sure he offs Achilles, but from a distance (just like Apollo the Far Shooter) and, really, all I could think was: how nice that Orlando gets to do some more shooting. He didn't really risk himself at all. But I did love his fight with Menelaus. I wondered how he was going to get out of that one, since Aphrodite wasn't there to do it. Clutching Hektor's feet, his face all bloody. Yay! Orlando Bloom was born to play Paris, take that how you will. Too bad he was prettier than Helen.

Achilles & Briseis? That wasn't love, that was Stockholm Syndrome.

I really enjoyed Sean Bean's Odysseus. Nicely done, just the right amount of wry humour. Bring on the Odyssey, I'm ready for it.

Speaking of which, I had a giggle fit when Paris handed over the sword of Troy to Aeneas, standing there with decrepit Anchises on his shoulders. Never forget the glory that was Rome! And to set up sequels good and early!

I must say, it seemed rather hard on the gods to write them out and then have people complain about them not helping.

Red-headed Menelaus was a nice touch. :)

Damn, did they really have to make Achilles and Patroklos so un-homoerotic? Bah. Like a tongue kiss or two would have hurt.

And I think that's it. Oh, one more thing: there was this one theme in the score that was almost the Stargate theme. Most distracting.


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I *meant* to see Troy this weekend (in between grading final papers), but somehow I ended up buying Peter Pan on DVD and somehow it turned into a Hook festival.

Mmmmm.

(btw...if you haven't seen the DVD, Isaacs is all *over* the extras. Slurp.)

Oh, I've had the DVD *forever*. Or at least two weeks. *g* This movie, unlike most, kept me just as fascinated watching at home as in the theatre. The sexual tension is relentless! Just ... god.

Achilles: This is my cousin Patroklos.
Me: "cousin"! *snort*

Loved the costumes. HATED the omission of the gods, seeing as how the whole thing was basically the gods playing D&D with human leads.

The great thing about nobody reading the classics anymore is that I'm pretty sure most of the audience was in complete suspense over who would win.




Hell, we just put on a production of Trojan Women and *I* was left in suspense about who would win watching this bloody movie.

Agree about the confusion of themes, by the way...it was very odd, I felt. There was all that going on about immortality, your name and this war lasting for millenia blah blah blah--but what was the point? I couldn't even tell what the take on war really *was* and I couldn't figure out who I was supposed to sympathise with.

The only value I got out of this movie was pretty men, Peter O'Toole, and lots of amusement that I know the moviemakers weren't looking for.

They were cousins like Merry and Pippin are cousins. *g*

I missed the gods too, but I just couldn't think how they could have been inserted and have had it work any better. I don't think modern audience would deal very well with the idea that you just can't change your fate because the gods will overrule you every time.

The great thing about nobody reading the classics anymore is that I'm pretty sure most of the audience was in complete suspense over who would win.

So true, judging from the reports I've heard of people gasping in surprise when the Greeks came out of the horse. D'oh! I didn't notice that myself, but I was in a matinee and there weren't a lot of people in the theatre. Also, maybe Canadians are better-read. *g*

Oh, I'm SURE Canadians are better-read; it would be hard to be worse-read, I sometimes think.

They were cousins like Merry and Pippin are cousins. *g*

So, cousins like "we've been fucking for years"?

I laughed too! I was like, dude, Virgil didn't write until two thousand years later!

I've been having visions of Patroclus on his knees sucking Achilles off ever since I got out of the movie. Also, of Odysseus fucking Achilles back in the day. Guh.

I *love* your icon. Odysseus has always been my man, and seeing Bean play him was perfect. He did so much with so little.

Aeneas was in the Iliad, though of course *that* scene was not. :) It seemed so utterly contrived to just trot him out right then. But hey, it was fun. *g*

I've been having visions of Patroclus on his knees sucking Achilles off ever since I got out of the movie. Also, of Odysseus fucking Achilles back in the day. Guh.

Guh, indeed!

Oh, I know of Aeneas origins in the Iliad, it's just that nothing much was done with him til Virgil.

It's all just fanfic in the end, isn't it? *g*

I *love* your summary there! Ten years indeed. I think it all panned out in about 14 days in the end, didn't it? For one horrific moment, I thought they were going to condense the whole thing into 24 hours.

And yes, the lack of homoeroticism in one of the most homoerotic cultures ever to grace the earth was disappointing. But surely the movie will spawn an enormous fandom and have the living hell slashed out of it. The world is crying out for Achilles/Paris isn't it? Ajax/Hector ...

I missed the gods, too. You wouldn't want to *see* them, all beefy and bearded like they always were in Xena, but it would have been good to feel their influence in those pivotal moments - for instance it would have explained Paris' suddenly acquired archery skills at the end.

Sharing the Sean love too ... but I was appalled to see that the director let a lot more of his Sheffield accent slip through than Peter Jackson ever did.

I thought a lot of the characters were under-developed, too. Briseus, for instance, we know nothing about until we see her fighting off Greek soldiers and looking all "rescue-me". Which I think is why it's hard to believe she's in love with Achilles. Or - which was the greater problem I had - why on earth he suddenly decides to fall for her. I think it's related to your perception of there being no theme. The scriptwriter wanted to write a story that was BIG and what the story might have to say, or what the characters might be (apart from BIG) wasn't so much a concern.

Achilles worked for me. I like him arrogant and selfish. And I'm no Brad Pitt fan but that *hair* made me weak at the knees. And yes, it was ironic that Paris easily outshone Helen in the beauty stakes.

And before this turns into an essay, my biggest concern with the whole movie was the barren beach setting. Where in all creation did they get all the wood for those funeral pyres???? Where???? Were they burning their ships and planning to walk home to Greece?

Done now. You can have your journal back :)

I think it all panned out in about 14 days in the end, didn't it? For one horrific moment, I thought they were going to condense the whole thing into 24 hours.

God, yes! But I don't know how they could have portrayed a ten year's war in three hours or less. Hmm. Maybe if they'd taken four hours with intermission and had a young Charleton Heston to play Achilles instead.

And yes, the lack of homoeroticism in one of the most homoerotic cultures ever to grace the earth was disappointing. But surely the movie will spawn an enormous fandom and have the living hell slashed out of it. The world is crying out for Achilles/Paris isn't it? Ajax/Hector ...

They've been slashing for months already! Mostly Paris/Hektor, actually. I could go for some Odysseus/Achilles, myself. :)

I missed the gods, too. You wouldn't want to *see* them, all beefy and bearded like they always were in Xena, but it would have been good to feel their influence in those pivotal moments - for instance it would have explained Paris' suddenly acquired archery skills at the end.

I missed the gods, but I'm not convinced they would have made the film better. I doubt today's movie-going audience could have dealt with their interference.

In re Paris, I thought we were just supposed to think: oh, right, Orlando learned to shoot during LotR!

The scriptwriter wanted to write a story that was BIG and what the story might have to say, or what the characters might be (apart from BIG) wasn't so much a concern.

Good point. It just lacked focus, I thought.

And before this turns into an essay, my biggest concern with the whole movie was the barren beach setting. Where in all creation did they get all the wood for those funeral pyres???? Where???? Were they burning their ships and planning to walk home to Greece?

See, every night a whole bunch of driftwood would wash ashore and dry out really quickly. Or maybe they went down the beach a ways and there was the Statue of Liberty a bunch of wood just sitting there.

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