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Troy (film)

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Theatrical release poster

Directed by

Wolfgang Petersen

Produced by

Wolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson

Written by

David Benioff


Brad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Diane Kruger
Brian Cox
Sean Bean
Brendan Gleeson
Peter O'Toole

Music by

James Horner


Roger Pratt

Edited by

Peter Honess


Helena Productions


Distributed by

Warner Bros. Pictures

Release dates

May 14, 2004

Running time

162 minutes


United Kingdom
United States




$175 million
$177 million (Director's cut)

Box office

$497.4 million[1]

Troy is a 2004 American epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It
is loosely based[2] on Homer's Iliad, which narrates the story of the 10 year Trojan War. Achilles leads
his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, defended by
Hector's Trojan army. The end of the film (the sacking of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad as the
ending of the Iliad was based on Hector's death and funeral burial.
The film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom. Troy made it
into the "Best of Warner Bros - 50 Film Collection (90th Anniversary Collection). It was also
nominated for 11 awards. It won 2 at the 2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards which
were: Top Box Office Film James Horner and the 2005 Teen Choice Awards and the Choice
Movie Actor Drama/Action Adventure Brad Pitt. The Achilles-Hector rivalry was ranked #50 in
the 50 Greatest Movie rivalries by Total Film.
Troy made more than 73% of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troymade over US$497
million worldwide, placing it temporarily in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It was the 8th
highest grossing film of 2004 and currently is in the top 150 highest grossing films of all time.

1 Plot

2 Cast
2.1 Greeks

2.1.1 House of Atreus members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta)

2.1.2 Myrmidons

2.1.3 Kings and Warriors of other Greek states (e.g. Ithaca, Thessaly, etc.)
2.2 Trojans

3 Production

4 Music

5 Director's cut

6 Reception

6.1 Commercial performance

6.2 Critical reception

6.3 Box office totals

7 Accolades

8 See also

9 References

10 Further reading

11 External links

Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, king
of Sparta, and celebrate the end of a long and bloody war. Paris, however, is having a secret love
affair with Menelaus' wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their homebound vessel, much to
Hector's fury, as this could lead to war between Troy and Greece. Upon learning of this, Menelaus
meets with his elder brother, King Agamemnon of Greece, and asks his help in taking Troy.
Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for a long time, agrees, since it will give him control
of the Aegean Sea. On King Nestor's advice, Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca,
persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon and his ways, initially
refuses, but eventually decides to go after his mother, Thetis, tells him that though he will die, he will
be forever remembered.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris bring Helen, but welcomes her as a guest
and decides against sending her home, since Paris will likely follow her and be killed, choosing
instead to meet the Greeks in open battle. The Greeks arrive shortly after and take the Trojan beach,
mostly thanks to Achilles and his Myrmidons, among them his cousinPatroclus, who sack the temple
of Apollo but allow Hector and the surviving Trojans to return to the city. Achilles claimsBriseis, a
priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a war trophy, but is angered when Agamemnon
spitefully takes her from him and decides that he will not aid Agamemnon when they lay siege to
The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy. During a parley, Paris offers to duel
Menelaus personally for Helen's hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending
to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris and almost kills him, but
is killed by Hector. In the ensuing battle, most of Agamemnon's forces fall to Troy's archers and
Hector kills Ajax. On Odysseus' insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. In order to keep
their spirits up, he gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement. When she is threatened
with rape, she is saved by Achilles. The two fall for each other and Achilles realises that the war is a
lost cause, deciding to leave Troy in the morning.
Despite Hector's advice otherwise, Priam instructs him to retake the Trojan beach in the night and
send the Greeks home. The attack brings the Greeks together and the Myrmidons enter the battle.
Hector personally duels Achilles and cuts his throat, but removes his helmet and discovers it was
Patroclus. Devastated, the armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Odysseus informs Hector that
Patroclus was Achilles' cousin. Achilles is informed of his cousin's death and vows revenge. Knowing
of the coming retribution, Hector leads his wife, Andromache, to a secret tunnel beneath Troy and
instructs her to take their child and any survivors she can out of the city should he die and the city
fall. The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and demands Hector come out. The two fight evenly
for a while until Achilles wears Hector down and kills him, dragging his corpse back to the Trojan
beach, straining his relationship with Briseis. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and meets
with Achilles, imploring him to let him take Hector's body back to Troy for a proper funeral. Ashamed
of his actions, Achilles agrees and allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam and orders his men to
leave Troy, promising he will join them after the war is finished.
Agamemnon becomes infuriated at Achilles' actions and goes into a crazed rant that he will take
Troy no matter what. Concerned that Agamemnon may lead them to destruction, Odysseus concocts
a plan to get inside the city without bloodshed, by having the Greeks build a gigantic wooden
horse from their boat parts and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove to
make it seem as if they have left. Priam orders the horse brought inside the city as a gift from the
Gods, over Paris' objections. A Trojan scout finds the hidden ships in the cove but is killed by the
Greek archers before he can alert the city. That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge and
open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen
are getting the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to Aeneas,
instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Priam and Glaucus are killed in
battle by Agamemnon and Odysseus, respectively, while Agamemnon is slain by Briseis. Achilles
fights his way through the city and finds Briseis, but is shot through the heel by Paris, who puts
several arrows in Achilles until he finally collapses. With his dying breaths, Achilles implores Briseis
to leave the city with Paris. They escape Troy before the Greeks find Achilles' body. In the aftermath,
with Troy finally taken, funerals are held for the slain and Odysseus personally cremates Achilles.

House of Atreus members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta)[edit]

Brian Cox as Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae. He is the elder brother of Menelaus and
supreme commander of the Greek army. He is the primary antagonist of the film.

Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus, the king of Sparta, younger brother of Agamemnon and
husband of Helen. He is killed by Hector in the film, although in the Illiad he survived. He is the
secondary antagonist of the film.

Diane Kruger as Helen, the queen of Sparta and wife of Menelaus. She is the lover of Paris.
She is the primary Greek female protagonist.

John Shrapnel as Nestor, the king of Pylos and the adviser of Agamemnon. He is the senary
Greek male protagonist.

Ken Bones as Hippasus, the adviser of Menelaus.

Siri Svegler as Polydora, a Spartan entertainer.


Julie Christie as Thetis, the mother of Achilles and aunt of Patroclus

Brad Pitt as Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis, cousin of Patroclus, as well as leader of
the Myrmidons. A famous and talented warrior, he is also the lover of Briseis. He is the primary
Greek male protagonist.

Garrett Hedlund as Patroclus, the cousin and student of Achilles. He is the secondary Greek
male protagonist.

Vincent Regan as Eudoros, the general of the Myrmidon army and Achilles' best friend. He is
the tertiary Greek male protagonist.

Kings and Warriors of other Greek states (e.g. Ithaca, Thessaly, etc.) [edit]

Sean Bean as Odysseus, the king of Ithaca and friend of Achilles. He is considered the most
clever of the Greeks. He serves as the film's narrator. He is also the quaternary Greek male

Julian Glover as Triopas, the king of Thessaly. He is the quinary Greek male protagonist.

Nathan Jones as Boagrius, a Thessalian champion.

Tyler Mane as Ajax the Great, the king of Salamis.


Peter O'Toole as Priam, the king of Troy, father of Hector and Paris, uncle of Briseis, fatherin-law of Andromache and paternal grandfather of Astyanax. He is the tertiary Trojan male

Eric Bana as Hector, the prince of Troy and the best warrior among the Trojans. He is the
elder son of Priam, brother of Paris, cousin of Briseis, husband of Andromache and father
of Astyanax. He is also known as "The Tamer of Horses". He is the secondary Trojan male

Orlando Bloom as Paris, the prince of Troy. He is the younger son of Priam, brother of
Hector, cousin of Briseis, brother-in-law of Andromache and paternal uncle of Astyanax. He is
the lover of Helen. He is the primary Trojan male protagonist.

Saffron Burrows as Andromache, the princess of Troy, wife of Hector and mother of their
young son Astyanax. She is the sister-in-law of Paris, daughter-in-law of Priam and cousin-inlaw of Briseis. She is the secondary Trojan female protagonist.

Rose Byrne as Briseis, the priestess of Apollo, niece of Priam and cousin of Hector and
Paris, cousin-in-law of Andromache. She is the lover of Achilles. She is the primary Trojan
female protagonist.

James Cosmo as Glaucus, the commanding general of the Trojan army.

Frankie Fitzgerald as Aeneas, a Trojan youth. As Troy is being sacked, Paris picks him at
random to take the Sword of Troy, carrying the future of the Trojans into Virgil's epic, the Aeneid.

Nigel Terry as Archeptolemus, the Trojan high priest and adviser of Priam.

Owain Yeoman as Lysander, the Trojan soldier.

Trevor Eve as Velior, one of the Trojan priests.

Mark Lewis Jones as Tecton, a Trojan soldier who was killed by Achilles.

The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June
2003.[3] Other important scenes were shot in Melliea, a small town in the north of Malta, and on the
small island of Comino. The outer walls of Troy were built and filmed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Film production was disrupted for a period of time after Hurricane Martyaffected filming areas.
The role of Briseis was initially offered to Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, but she refused it
because she was not comfortable doing the lovemaking scenes that were included. The role
eventually went to Rose Byrne.

Composer Gabriel Yared originally worked on the score for Troy for over a year, having been hired
by the director, Wolfgang Petersen.
Yared wrote and recorded his score and Tanja Carovska provided vocals on various portions of the
music, as she later would on composer James Horner's version of the soundtrack. However, after
having screened the film with an early incomplete version of the score, the reactions at test
screenings were against it and in less than a day Yared was off the project without being given a
chance to fix or change his music, while Warner Bros was already looking for a replacement.

According to Yared, his score was removed due to a complaint by the screening audience that the
score was too "old-fashioned".[7]

The replacement score was written by composer James Horner in about four weeks. He used
Carovska's vocals again and also included traditional Eastern Mediterranean music and brass
instruments. Drums are conspicuous in the most dramatic scenes: most notably, in the duel between
Achilles and Hector. Horner also collaborated with American singer/songwriterJosh Groban and
lyricist Cynthia Weil to write an original song for the film's end credits. The product of this
collaboration, "Remember" was performed by Groban with additional vocals by Carovska. The song
is available on the film's original soundtrack.
A commentator, Alex Ross, claims that large portions of the score were essentially plagiarized from
works by Shostakovich and Prokofiev; one instance cited by Ross, fanfares from Benjamin
Britten's War Requiem, has been explicitly recognised by another critic as an "exact copy" by
Around the time of the film's release in theaters, Gabriel Yared briefly made portions of his rejected
score available on his personal website, which was later removed at the request of Warner Brothers.
Bootleg versions exist on the Internet. Yared's score has since gained much attention from the fans
of film music. Several petitions were made requesting the release of Yared's score either on a limited
edition CD or as a bonus feature or secondary audio track on the film's DVD. Those requests
however, have been denied by Warner Bros.

Director's cut[edit]
Troy: Director's Cut was screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2007
and received a limited release in Germany in April 2007. Warner Home Video reportedly spent more
than $1 million for the director's cut, which includes "at least 1,000 new cuts" or almost 30 minutes
extra footage (with a new running time of 196 minutes). The DVD was released on September 18,
2007 in the US. The score of the film was changed dramatically, with many of the female vocals
being cut. An addition to the music is the use of Danny Elfman's theme for Planet of the Apes during
the pivotal fight between Hector and Achilles in front of the Gates of Troy.
Various shots were recut and extended. For instance, the love scene between Helen and Paris was
reframed to include more nudity of Diane Kruger. The love scene between Achilles and Briseis is
also extended. Only one scene was removed: the scene where Helen tends to the wound of Paris is
taken out. The battle scenes were also extended, showing much more of Ajax's bloody rampage on
the Trojans during the initial attack by the Greek Army. Perhaps most significant was the sacking of
Troy, barely present in the theatrical cut, but shown fully here. Characters were given more time to
develop, specifically Priam and Odysseus, the latter being given a humorous introduction scene.
Lastly, bookend scenes were added: the beginning being a soldier's dog finding its dead master and
the end including a sequence where the few surviving Trojans escape to Mount Ida. In one of the
commentary sequences, the film's writer, David Benioff, said that when it came to deciding whether
to follow The Iliad or to do what was best for the film, they always decided with what was best for the

Commercial performance[edit]
When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $175,000,000. This
made Troy one of the most expensive films produced in modern cinema. It was screened out of
competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[10]
Troy screenings have earned US$133,378,256 in the United States.[11]

Troy made more than 73%[11] of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497
million worldwide,[11]placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time.

Critical reception[edit]
Troy was met with mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 54%,
based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "A brawny,
entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56
out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

| Roger Ebert
May 14, 2004 |

8Print Page

"Troy" is based on the epic poem The Iliadby Homer, according to the credits. Homer's
estate should sue. The movie sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes
into action movie cliches and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computergenerated armies. Better a couple of hundred sweaty warriors than two masses of
50,000 men marching toward one another across a sea of special effects.
The movie recounts the legend of the Trojan War, as the fortress city is attacked by a
Greek army led by Menelaus of Sparta and Agamemnon of Mycenae. The war has
become necessary because of the lust of the young Trojan prince named Paris ( Orlando
Bloom), who while during a peace mission to Sparta, seduces the city-state's queen,
Helen (Diane Kruger).
This action understandably annoys Helen's husband, Menelaus ( Brendan Gleeson), not
to mention Paris' brother Hector (Eric Bana), who points out, quite correctly, that when
you visit a king on a peace mission, it is counterproductive to leave with his wife.
What the movie doesn't explain is why Helen would leave with Paris after an
acquaintanceship of a few nights. Is it because her loins throb with passion for a hero?
No, because she tells him: "I don't want a hero. I want a man I can grow old with." Not
in Greek myth, you don't. If you believe Helen of Troy could actually tell Paris anything
remotely like that, you will probably also agree that the second night he slipped into her
boudoir, she told him, "Last night was a mistake."
The seduction of Helen is the curtain-raiser for the main story, which involves vast
Greek armies laying siege to the impenetrable city. Chief among their leaders is Achilles,

said to be the greatest warrior of all time, but played by Brad Pitt as if he doesn't believe
it. If Achilles was anything, he was a man who believed his own press releases. Heroes
are not introspective in Greek drama, they do not have second thoughts, and they are
not conflicted.
Achilles is all of these things. He mopes on the flanks of the Greek army with his own
independent band of fighters, carrying out a separate diplomatic policy, kind of like
Ollie North. He thinks Agamemnon is a poor leader with bad strategy and doesn't really
get worked up until his beloved cousin Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund) is killed in battle.
Patroclus, who looks a little like Achilles, wears his helmet and armor to fool the enemy,
and until the helmet is removed everyone thinks that Achilles has been slain. So
dramatic is that development that the movie shows perhaps 100,000 men in hand-tohand combat, and then completely forgets them in order to focus on the Patroclus battle
scene, with everybody standing around like during a fight on the playground.
Pitt is a good actor and a handsome man, and he worked out for six months to get buff
for the role, but Achilles is not a character he inhabits comfortably. Say what you will
about Charlton Hestonand Victor Mature, but one good way to carry off a sword-andsandal epic is to be filmed by a camera down around your knees, while you intone quasiformal prose in a heroic baritone. Pitt is modern, nuanced, introspective; he brings
complexity to a role where it is not required.
By treating Achilles and the other characters as if they were human, instead of the
larger-than-life creations of Greek myth, director Wolfgang Petersen miscalculates.
What happens in Greek myth cannot happen between psychologically plausible
characters. That's the whole point of myth. Great films like Michael Cacoyannis'
"Elektra," about the murder of Agamemnon after the Trojan War, know that and use a
stark dramatic approach that is deliberately stylized. Of course, "Elektra" wouldn't work
for a multiplex audience, but then maybe it shouldn't.
The best scene in the movie has Peter O'Toole creating an island of drama and emotion
in the middle of all that plodding dialogue. He plays old King Priam of Troy, who at
night ventures outside his walls and into the enemy camp, surprising Achilles in his tent.
Achilles has defeated Priam's son Hector in hand-to-hand combat before the walls of
Troy, and dragged his body back to camp behind his chariot. Now Priam asks that the
body be returned for proper preparation and burial. This scene is given the time and
attention it needs to build its mood, and we believe it when Achilles tells Priam, "You're
a far better king than the one who leads this army." O'Toole's presence is a reminder of
"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), which I saw again two weeks ago, and which proved that
patience with dialogue and character is more important than action in making war
movies work.

As for the Greek cities themselves, a cliche from the old Hollywood epics has remained
intact. This is the convention that whenever a battle of great drama takes place, all the
important characters have box seats for it. When Achilles battles Hector before the walls
of Troy, for example, Priam and his family have a sort of viewing stand right at the front
of the palace, and we get the usual crowd reaction shots, some of them awkward
closeups of actresses told to look grieved.
In a way, "Troy" resembles "The Alamo." Both are about fortresses under siege. Both are
defeated because of faulty night watchmen. The Mexicans sneak up on the Alamo
undetected, and absolutely nobody is awake to see the Greeks climbing out of the Trojan
Horse. One difference between the two movies is that Billy Bob Thornton and the other
"Alamo" actors are given evocative dialogue, and deliver it well, while "Troy" provides
dialogue that probably cannot be delivered well because it would sound even sillier that

Jumping to our fourth paper assigned in WRD 103, I chose to analyze Troy for my Movie Review Essay.
This essay was quite a different assignment than anything else we had done in class, and truly
challenged my ability to develop a stance appropriate for analyzing a movie, and forced me to write in
a new structure that I was previously unfamiliar with. But with multiple drafts and revisions (and after
watching the movie a few times), I was able to finalize a good paper.
Below I have included my rough draft edits I did personally in class, as well as several links throughout
my paper to scenes referenced in the movie. These scenes are somewhat graphic and I caution
viewers who do not like action movies of war or action.
^Trailer for Troy (2004)
29 Oct. 2013
Troy Review

From the first found depictions of animals on ancient cave walls, to eloquent and expressive
epics recounted by minstrels, to magical and mysterious movies made in Hollywood, history shows
that humans enjoy stories of historical significance. In the modern-day era, moviemakers use history to
their advantage, retelling powerful stories of war, love, and peace. One such movie created in 2004
was Troy. To fully evaluate Troy, the film must be compared and contrasted with other action movies
depicting themes such as war, tradition, and honor; Troys timeline of historical events must be
analyzed; and the movies use of actors and their performances must be examined.
Troy is parallel to action stories such as The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean,
and Kingdom of Heaven as an action packed novel in the form of a motion picture. As an action
film, Troy uses spectacular cinematography, innovative cinema techniques, and intimate exchanges
between characters to capture audiences. Some of the spectacular cinematography includes the
opening shots of Greece, the wide perspective shots of the Greek armys boats as they sail to attack
Troy, and the intentionally misleading depiction of the battle between Hector and Patroclus.
^Patroclus fights Hector
Hectors battle with Patroclus also segues into the discussion on Troys use of innovative
cinema techniques. The manner in which the battle is shown hides Patroclus identity until the last
possible moment, which corresponds directly with the book, The Iliad, which Troy is based on. This
style is innovative in action films and leads to other examples of ingenuity such as framing the movie
with Odysseus recounting of the Trojan War, an opening shot giving viewers contextual information
with a map of Greece and Troy, and a sophisticated but subtle inclusion of Aeneas and the foundation
of the story told in The Aeneid involving Aeneus and the founding of Rome.
This subtle foreshadowing of the next story is incorporated into an exchange between Paris and
Aeneas which is one example of the many intimate scenes involving just two characters together.
Other examples are Paris and Helen's first love scene, the many tense conversations Achilles has with
Agamemnon, and Hector and Paris conversation on their returning passage to Troy; the latter
completely highlighting Paris inexperience with war and love while showcasing Hectors passion for
loving his country and ancestors while he deglorifies death and war. With such groundbreaking movie
production, Troy certainly surpasses all expectations as an action film.
Secondly, a further analysis of Troys corroboration with The Iliads history is needed.
Unfortunately, examples from the film suggest it greatly deviates from Homers epic. From the timeline
of the war fought between Troy and Greece to the relationships between characters in the film, to
significant and historic events occurrences within the movie, Troy seems to be quite a historically
inaccurate reproduction. For example, the Trojan War is recorded as being ten years in length
and Troy abbreviates ten years to less than one month. Another blunder in the film is Achilles
relationship with Patroclus. InThe Iliad they are of no relation while in Troy they are depicted as
cousins. Also the movie only shows the two princes of Troy as Hector and Paris, while historically they
had an additional two brothers.
Furthermore, Troy misinforms audiences of key events of the Trojan War such as the
acceptance of the Trojan horse: Paris warns his father to burn it while the priests firmly believe it
should be honored as a gift, whereas in The Iliad, two serpents attack Trojans as a warning that goes

unheeded. Another contrast between Troys Troy and The Iliads Troy was what protected the city from
attacking forces e.g. a colossal wall or a gigantic trench.
Thirdly, when and where Achilles dies in Homers story is different than the 2004 movie: the
story originating in the eighth century declares Achilles dead outside Troy with an arrow to his ankle
(Achilles Tendon) and nothing more; while the movie capitalizes on a dramatic scene lengthening the
warriors death and creates an ultimate climax for the film.
Conversely, the movie does show ancient Greek traditions very well. Achilles lust for
immortality is shown multiple times in the film, epitomizing the Greek desire for eternal remembrance.
The tradition of family is also shown with the togetherness of Troys royal family when Hector does not
force Paris and Helen to return to Sparta but instead accepts the fate of bringing war to his country.
Overall, the end result of the film is the same as the book and it would seem the movie chooses to
relay certain aspects of historical truths as opposed to an entirely non-fiction depiction of the Trojan
To an extent, a great portion of Troys success comes from the actors and actresses that
performed in the movie. Major roles such as the kings of Greece, the royal family of Troy, and the great
Achilles himself all were represented by a phenomenal cast. Odysseus, King of Ithaca and played by
Sean Bean, gives eloquent speeches throughout the film that make him a wonderful, loveable
character brought to life and put in the important position of convincing Achilles to fight while also
directing significant battles against Troy.
Another two powerful kings of Greece are Menelaus, played by Brendan Gleeson, and
Agamemnon, played by Brian Cox. These two on-screen brothers mesh together perfectly and
showcase brotherhood as a Greek tradition. Another leader of Greece, Ajax, king of Salamis and played
by Tyler Mane, is a large brute of a man who has a deep love for his fellow Greeks. This actor truly
shines in his battle with Hector and creates a nail bighting clash between two great warriors.
^Paris and Hector on boat returning to Troy
after Paris reveals Helen
Across the Aegean, the royal family of Troy equally well represented. Its king, Priam, is played
by Peter OToole who leads Troy into devastation by listening to his religious counselor instead of his
own two sons: Hector, actor Eric Bana, and Paris, played by a young Orlando Bloom. The two princes
pair together extremely well, Hector teaching his younger brother lessons of love for ones family,
woman, and country while Paris seemingly disregards his lessons and chooses to stay with Helen even
if it sparks a war.
Diane Kruger, portraying Helen, also plays a great role in the movie when she shows her
disdain for Menelaus by sailing to Troy with her young lover Paris. Her affectionate moments with Paris
and scenes with Hector authenticate her passionate affair with Paris and immense guilt for essentially
causing the war and to an extent, Hectors demise.
^Hector's battle with Achilles

With reference to Hectors demise, Achilles, played by Brad Pitt, fully embodies a stereotypical
action warrior with scenes of true gore as the legendary fighter kills an innumerable amount of men.
However, his true character is shown in his interactions with and chivalry towards Briseis, actress Rose
Byrne. His opponents throughout the movie stand little chance against the fierce champion; they
include Hector, Boagrius, played by Nathan Jones, and to an extent Agamemnon -- as a political
opponent. WhenTroy received many nominations for awards, one of the few it received was Teens
Choice Actor, Brad Pitt.
In conclusion, the movie Troy is another reproduction of a legend that has been told for
countless ages. It employs great cinematography techniques, chooses which historic facts to present
to its audiences, and involves a cast consisting of superb actors in chief roles of history. The modernera film does not entirely remain truthful to its origin,The Iliad, but uses the story of the Trojan War to
retell a tale of war, love, and peace. Ultimately action movie fans should know it showcases battles of
war with great intensity, creativity, and power and surpasses any expectations they may have.

Troy vs. The Iliad

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Themes and patterns

A few key themes are shown in both the film Troy and the poem, The Iliad. In Troy the main themes that
are shown are the themes, love and the idea that death is glory. In the poem, The Iliad, the major theme
that is shown is the Greek concept of Kleos. This concept of Kleos is when someone earns Kleos through
great deeds in his life. This is often achieved through death. An example of Kleos is during the
famous conversation between Hector and Andromache where Andromache tells Hector not to go onto the
battlefield, however, Hector knows that fighting in the front lines is the only means to "winning my father
great glory." (Book 6, Lines 27-29) This is similar in the film as Hector refuses to stay stating he must fight
for his country.
In the film, the major theme is the theme of love. In particular, the major idea behind the theme of love is
that love transcends all. Paris and Helen are the two major characters to exhibit this idea as their
forbidden love is the instigator to the battle of Troy. In the film, Paris and Helen are shown to live in their
own world, not caring for the consequences. This ignorance to the consequences gives way to the
beginning of the battle of Troy. Even while the battle rages on Paris and Helen overcome all the odds, and
eventually at the end of the film, the two of them escape the ruined city of Troy, saved by their love. This
greatly contrasts the poem, The Iliad as Helen did not escape the city of Troy with Paris, but was instead
taken back by Menelaus. This shows how much Wolfgang Petersen changes a major point in the story to
cater for the drama and romance for the modern audience. In this case love really does transcend all, as
the whole plot point of the film is not true to the poem. The second theme in the film is the idea that death
is glory. This relates to the major theme in The Iliad, as the concept of Kleos is also related to the idea
that death is glory. Throughout the film, Achilles is shown to be wanting the ultimate glory on the

battlefield. Achilles believes that utlimate glory is achieved through his eventual death. In the poem
Achilles is torn between chosing fame through his homecoming from a successful battle and achieving
fame and glory then and there on the battle field. "Two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out
here and I lay siege to Troy My journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the
fatherland I love, My pride, my glory dies... True, but the life that's left me will be long, The stroke of death
will not come on me quickly." (Book 9, Lines 499-505)This shows how he wishes to achieve tru glory on
the battlefield, and die with his name 'engraved' into history instead of leaving for home and only gaining a
short lived glory.The choices Achilles is lead to make a decision upon is two more ideas of glory and fame
in Greek society. The fame achieved through a persons homecoming after a victorious battle is known as
Nostos. The other idea takes the concept of Kleos and narrows it down to just one way to obtain absolute
fame and glory. This idea is called Kleos Aphthiton. This concept details how one can achieve true
immortality through the glory and fame brought upon by his actions. Kleos Aphthiton surpasses even
death and allows the hero to live on, throughout the ages. Thus the name Kleos Aphthiton which means
literally, fame imperishable. The concept of Kleos Aphthiton is shown in great lengths through the
character of Achilles, as he wishes to gain ultimate glory. This is also reflected in the film, when Achilles
shouts out to his fellow comrades, "Myrmidons! My brothers of the sword! I would rather fight beside you
than any army of thousands! Let no man forget how menacing we are, we are lions! Do you know what's
waiting beyond that beach? Immortality! Take it! It's yours!" This quote by Achilles, shows how in the
movie, Achilles is also following the concept of Kleos Aphthiton as he wishes to seize immortality through
death on the battlefield as Achilles and his Myrmidons are sent as the front line at the beginning of the
battle in the movie.
The concept of Kleos which is prominent in the poem is also featured in the film, although not so much as
the movie. Although the movie does not contain these ancient Greek concepts as much, the film does
have it's own prominent themes such as love. This is due to the difference in audiences, as the modern
audience prefers drama over philosophical themes

The main theme is Troy is making sure you are remembered forever.

What is Troy about?

Troy is a war film from 2004 based on the Trojan War and Homer's The Illiad. The film
stars Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom and combines a love story with the war as
a relationship forms between two people who cannot be in love due to family ties and
constraints. The love affair leads to the invasion of Troy.


Glory and being remembered throughout history

Achilles is given the choice between going to Troy or staying at home. If he goes
to Troy he is told he will die but he will be remembered forever as a strong and powerful
warrior and his name will be passed down for thousands of years to come. If he does

not go, he will live a long and happy life with his wife and children. He will be forgotten if
he stays at home but are all those years of happiness worth it? This is the dilemma of
the film and the main theme.


Love is an important theme in Troy because it is Achilles' decision to stay for love or to
leave for glory that is a major issue for our main character.


With eternal glory and stories passed from generation to generation about the great
warrior that Achilles was, it provides him with a type of immortality. Even if he dies in
war, his name will be remembered forever and it will be remembered for everything he
stood for in life and everything he ever wanted to be. Achilles wants to be more than a
great warrior of his time, he wishes to be the greatest warrior of ALL time and he wants
to go down in history for this.
Troy location: the shore of Troy: Ghajn Tiffieha Beach, Malta
Photograph: Wikimedia / Gokoenig

Troy was filmed on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean and in Mexico, after a terrorist bomb attack in
Casablanca deterred the production company from the first choice, which had been Morocco.
Brad Pitt seemed natural casting as Achilles, poster boy for the Greeks, inWolfgang Petersens good, old fashioned
epic, which takes a few liberties with the legend compressing the ten-year siege of Troy into a fortnight, coyly
demoting Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund) from Achilles lover to his cousin, and prematurely bumping off Agamemnon
(Brian Cox). But after all, its a legend not a history lesson.
Some interior sets, including the Palace of Troy, were filmed on sets built atShepperton Studios in the UK, but most of
the production was shot on Malta and at the southern tip of Baja California, the long, skinny finger of Mexico dangling
down the west coast from the Californian border.
The streets and the grand square of Troy were built on a ten-acre site within the 17th Century military compound, Fort
Ricasoli, on the south entrance to the Grand Harbour at Valletta on Malta. Its where the vast Colosseum set
for Ridley Scotts Gladiator had stood, and stands opposite Fort St Elmo, which had been the Turkish prison location
for Midnight Express).
Now managed by the Malta Film Commission, Ricasoli also appears as the Red Keep in TVs A Game of Thrones.
Finally trundled into heart of Troy, the wooden horse (actually steel and fibreglass), standing 38 feet high, was made
at Shepperton and had to be shipped out to Malta in sections.

More sets were built in a hangar at Hal Far, a former RAF airfield now one of the islands main industrial estates,
down in southeast Malta, between Birzebbuga and Iz-Zurrieq.
Achilles and the Greeks reach the Trojan shore at Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, on the islands northwest coast alongside the
popular Golden Bay.
The temple ruins at Phtia, where Achilles and Patroclus are practicing their swordplay when Odysseus (Sean Bean)
arrives to ask them to join the attack on Troy, was built on the cliffside at Mellieha, a 15th Century town between St
Pauls Bay and Mellieha Bay, to the north.
Coincidentally, two other TV productions based on Greek legends, The Odyssey(1997) directed by Andrei
Konchalovsky (with Isabella Rossellini andChristopher Lee), and Helen of Troy (2003), filmed on many of the same
locations as Troy.
The larger beach scenes and the great wall and gates of Troy were filmed inMexico, at Cabo San Lucas on the very
southern tip of Baja California, nearly 800 miles south of the border with the USA.
The Greek seafront encampment was filmed at Playa El Faro Viejo (Old Lighthouse Beach), a couple of miles west
of Cabo San Lucas itself.
After most of the filming was completed, the walls of Troy were substantially damaged by Hurricane Marty. With the
climactic fight between Achilles and Hector still to shoot, the entire gates of Troy set had to be rebuilt.

5 August 2004

Shown last year, Helen of Troy would have to be one of the rather remarkable films of all time. Having
been a believer of quality movies, I have come to the conclusion that this is something that is definitely
worth remembering and recommending to others. Without doubt, Adam Shapiro, Ted Kurdyla and Ronnie
Kern made a good choice in producing this three-hour 'action-packed, adventure, drama & romance
package' movie.
The film brought to life Homer's poem, The Iliad, through a group of talents in its cast and crew and our
generation's newfangled technology. Contrary to what most people know, Helen was not the real reason
of the Trojan War but rather the Judgment of Paris. Because of Helen's decision to be with Paris, two
great empires were given a reason to go to war that lasted for a decade. Over those years, the gods of
Mt. Olympus were divided, helping the camp that they supported. Thus, the Greeks and Trojans both had
the enjoyment of feeling how it was to be favored by the gods. They played with the fate of the different
characters in the story. Hence, they showed their roles in the lives of these mortals.
In the text, Helen goes off with Paris which pushed the Greeks to attack the Trojans. In the course of
Paris and Menelaus battling over the right to Helen, both sides suffered from problems within their own
camps. Agamemnon and Achilles disapprove of each other because of their prizes of honor. Hera diverts
Zeus' attention so that the tide would be turned against the Trojans again. The royal family of Troy loses
their first-born, Hector, because of their son mistaking Patroclus for Achilles. The Trojans get even when
Paris shot Achilles at his weakest point his heel. With Achilles' death, the Greeks fight over their once
great warrior's position. Paris gets killed by Philoctetes' arrow and the Greeks continue to destroy his city.
The famous wooden horse's entry to the gates of Troy brings their city into ashes. The war ends with the
death of Polyxena and Astyanax, signifying the women of Troy's submission to Greek slavery.
If compared with the movie Troy, this film was more faithful to the original text. It also did not fail to explain
the story so they did not leave their viewers thinking of the reasons why such events occurred. Because
of this, the audience was able to sympathize with the characters in the movie. A good understanding of a

character's personality enables one to put himself/herself in the shoes of that character and thus allowing
him/her to feel exactly how a character in the story would feel in certain events. The acting of the cast is
quite convincing and worthy of Oscar nominations. They may not be instant winners for they still have to
prove themselves to everyone but for the people who do not have that much name in the industry and are
still able to perform well, the fruits of hard work are surely rewarding.
The background music in crucial parts of the film helped a lot in connecting with the characters of the
story. The foreign chants that were heard in dramatic parts of the film such as the burning of Troy allowed
a more serious atmosphere. Those scenes became more dramatic because of a musical score that has
been well thought of. The lighting as well as the cinematography has also been prepared for. With these
elements, the Trojan horse had even more impact when it was shown in the film. Lighting and
cinematography emphasized its size and beauty. Though some scenes cannot be helped but be injected
with a touch of our modern computer technology, they still put up with the audience's expectations as they
segued to the next segment.
The plot is simple but the numerous characters in the story complicated it. Each had his/her own opinion
and so it may appear confusing for someone who would just read the story and not visualize what is really
happening. The flow of events is simple. The only thing that complicates it is the challenge of putting all
the characters' personalities together without having anyone down staged. People are not expected to
understand the story by heart on their first time of encountering The Iliad. It is when you connect with the
story that you are able to answer anything about any character. With the good job of selecting the lines for
the script, the story became easier to follow.
One good question about Helen's character would be if she was that tramp who left her family and waged
a war that took many lives. She is actually one of the first feminists who challenged the status quo. Unlike
the women of her time, she was not submissive and she stood for her beliefs. We must remember that
the writer of The Iliad was not a woman and may have written this poem from a man's point of view. Thus,
we should be open to the idea that Helen was not just a tramp but more importantly a fighter.
There are some actors that I would like to commend for their wonderful performances in this film. Matthew
Marsden had that charisma that was fit for Paris. Rufus Sewell portrayed Agamemnon superbly and he
was able to explain his character's personality. Emilia Fox also gave justice to her role as Cassandra, and
as James Callis was very natural in his portrayal of Menelaus. These people, though not really famous as
some Hollywood stars, have great potentials and are effective in their roles.
This film has proven how far love can go. It can move mountains, cross the longest bridge, drive
endlessly or climb the highest peak. And yes, it can launch a thousand ships, too. My DVD copy of this
film is definitely for keeps!

A reflection by Tony Keen

The following is not intended as a review per seof Wolfgang Petersens Troy. Rather, it seeks to
examine some of the issues arising out of one of the most-discussed aspects, the changes made from
the canon of Greek mythology. I expected, from advance information, to spend the entirety of the
film in open-mouthed shock at what had been done. I didnt.
The first reason is that its quite obvious within the first ten minutes that this is Wolfgang Petersen
doing (for reasons best known to himself) a Cecil B. DeMille movie, and what do you expect from such
a film? Historical accuracy?

But there is a more complex reason, one which relates to what we consider important in the retelling
of mythology and adaptation of literature. Back in the 1950s, an American television company made a
version of Ian Flemings Casino Royale, in which James Bond was made into an American. Horrifying
idea, isnt it? Yet when I actually saw said programme, what struck me was not how much had been
changed, but how much of Fleming survived even Americanized, Bond remained a nasty piece of
work. And thats how I feel aboutTroy. Its not the departures from Homer you note its how much of
Homer is still there, such as Paris feebleness in single combat with Menelaus (even if Paris isnt here
the sort of person to whom even his close relatives and lover say, Go out and fight like a man, and if
you get yourself killed, well, no real harm done), and Priams begging Achilles for his sons body.
Besides, these myths are not immutable. Homer himself probably altered some of the stories he used.
The great Attic tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, certainly did. Three surviving plays by
Euripides feature Helen of Troy on stage all are mutually inconsistent. Virgil too modified the legends
to suit his purpose of praising Rome and Augustus.
Some of the changes made by ancient authors are quite substantial, the most momentous being the
tradition that Helen never went to Troy at all, the whole war being fought over her simulacrum or
likeness. I wonder if the sort of people now complaining that Helen escapes the sack of Troy at the end
of Petersens film would be up in arms at Euripides Helen: A ghost Helen at Troy, and the real one in
Egypt? What does this bloody playwright think hes doing, following Steisichorus?
Its silly to be precious about these stories. Petersen and his screenwriter, David Benioff, are only
doing what writers from the beginning of time have done. Granted, many of their changes are more
drastic than those performed by any writer of antiquity, especially when all done at the same time. But
lets face it, far less violence has been done to the stories in this film than in the average episode
of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys or Xena: Warrior Princess. And I could always forgive Robert
Tapert, Sam Raimi and their cohorts, because clearly they knew the material that they were
transforming. And thats true of Troys creators too for instance, they know Homer well enough to
have everyone call Menelaus Menelaos, in proper Greek fashion.
We have to remember that when Homer wrote the Iliad, everyone knew what happened before and
after the small part of the story Homer chooses to tell. Nowadays, most of the demographic
for Troy would have no knowledge that Agamemnon should go home to be killed by his wife, because
of his sacrifice of their daughter, that Menelaus will be charmed again by Helen, and they will live in
quite contentment, that Aeneas will lead a ragged band of escaped Trojans to found Rome (or London,
depending on which empire the writer is living under). A movie that tried to tell the whole story,
including the dispute over the armour of Odysseus and the suicide of Ajax, and that tried to fit in
Hecuba and Cassandra and the fate of Astyanax, would be extremely long and very complicated, not
to mention the fact that any modern Hollywood production would have great difficulty in dealing with
the blatant unfairness of many characters fates. Frankly, such a film would never get made. So I dont
mind that the fates of Menelaus and Agamemnon are tidied up before the end of the film. Indeed,
since Briseis in the film is a amalgam not just of Homers slave-girl Briseis, and Chryseis, daughter of
the priest of Apollo, but also of Cassandra, daughter of Priam, it is almost appropriate that she deals
the fatal blow it remains Agamemnons lust that finally undoes him. This is what the film does all the
time remembers its primary audience is not familiar with the Trojan cycle, but includes little bits for
people who are.
As for Menelaus and Helen, having established Menelaus as a violent and possessive man, the film
could hardly have Helen meekly return to Sparta with him at the end. I think far more people would
be offended by a film that suggested battered wives should go back to their husbands than by one

which alters the eventual fate of Helen of Troy, and rightly so. Once that is decided, Menelaus plays no
further dramatic role in the story beyond providing the excuse for Agamemnons war, so it makes
sense in terms of the film to get rid of him as soon as possible. But when Menelaus is killed the look of
surprise on his face almost says, Im not supposed to die yet! What about Book IV of the Odyssey?
What about the Andromache?
Had the film killed Odysseus, then I would have been annoyed. That would have been to
misunderstand something crucial about the character of Odysseus. Whether you admire him, as
Homer does, or not, as per the tragedians and Latin poets, the whole point of Odysseus is that he is a
survivor. Fortunately, as soon as the undiluted Sheffield vowels of Sean Bean (who I still think would
have been better cast as Menelaus) are heard in the introductory narration, it is clear Odysseus will
survive. The film even gives him an arch final line about if they ever write my story ...
Odysseus is not the only person whose broad characterization the film gets right. Achilles is a petulant
baby, Agamemnon a manipulative tyrant, Menelaus a boorish prig. Hector is more noble and heroic
than anyone on the Greek side can dream of being, whilst his brother is a pretty-boy who lacks the
inner steel to make a true hero. Priam is everything a wise and noble elder statesman should be,
except that every important decision he makes is wrong; Helen is tortured by her responsibility for the
war, and by the Trojans refusal to condemn her for it. Many of these characterizations can be found in
Homer almost all are in classical literature somewhere. But, of course, classical literature contains
many different versions of these figures. Ive already mentioned different views of Odysseus above;
Helen is almost a tabula rasa to be depicted how one likes, from the now-dutiful wife who regrets her
past that we find in theOdyssey, to the self-regarding manipulative bitch of Trojan Women.
What I am suggesting here is that, for all the variations in detail, Troy never actually misses the point
of the Trojan War stories. Troy still falls. And if you think its silly to suggest it might have been
otherwise, something very similar has happened to Alexandre Dumas The Man in the Iron Mask. That
novel concerns a plot to replace Louis XIV of France with his (fictional) identical twin bother Philippe.
In Dumas, this plot is thwarted, and Louis remains King. In every single film adaptation, the plot
The one change in Troy I didnt think was acceptable was Paris survival, and thats not because it
breaks from the traditional legend, but because its dramatically not right within the film. When he
leaves Helen at the escape tunnel, and passes on the Sword of Troy to Aeneas (supporting his aged
father, which I thought was a nice touch), Paris is having one of those moments where he knows, and
so does Helen, that hes going off to die. Except he then doesnt die, and the last we see of him he is
fleeing with Briseis, the implication being that he will get both of them to the escape route and safety.
(And no, this cant be excused by saying, Oh, but we dont see that he escapes. The film gives us no
reason to believe that he doesnt.) Quite what is supposed to happen when he rejoins his fellow
escapees isnt clear will he ask for the Sword of Troy back?
This mishandling of Paris is a shame, because otherwise, the deaths, at least of major characters, all
take place for a good dramatic reason, because there is some flaw in each individual for which they
must pay the price. Patroclus dies because he is too eager for the fray, Menelaus because he has not
the wit to treat Helen as more than an object to possess, Hector because, for all his honour, he loves
his brother more than he loves his city, Priam because he arrogantly assumes that the gods are on his
side, Agamemnon because his lust for power blinds him to all else, Achilles because his lust for war
leads him to care nothing about those he kills. Though Paris discovery of archery skills (no
typecasting for Orland Bloom there, then!) compensates for his earlier cowardice, he still ought to pay
the price for carelessly stealing another mans wife, and for killing the hero.

The change that has excited most comment is the down playing of the relationship between Achilles
and Patroclus. Both Brad Pitt and Benioff have said that they cant see anything in theIliad to support
a homoerotic subtext (has Bradreally read all twenty-four books?), but thats because it was so
obvious in the social context when Homer wrote that he didnt need to be explicit. In any case, any
homoeroticism that Benioff removed in his script is put back in by Petersen. Not only are Achilles and
Patroclus clearly doing it, for those who have eyes to see, but the film is packed full of athletic men
with their kit off, lingering shots tastefully cut off just above the pubic hair. In fact, not since Batman
Forever have I seen a Hollywood blockbuster quite so in love with the male body.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticiseTroy (e.g. the embarrassing dialogue, the failure to
make the battle scenes as exciting as Lord of the Rings or Gladiator, the varying level of acting), but it
should be criticised on its own terms, and the artistic license the film grants itself should be allowed.
By focusing on the changes made, and attacking them simply because they are changes, without
trying to understand them in context, classicists and other critics risk appearing as silly pedants. Not
to mention inconsistent. The license being denied to Petersens film is extended without question to
Euripides or Virgil, or even to modern playwrights such as John Barton, whoseTantalus cycle is quite
prepared to bend the legends when it seems necessary. This raises suspicions of elitism, that what is
permitted to ancient authors or on stage cannot be allowed in a populist film. Regular citations of
the Iliad as the basis of western literature, and by implication somehow sacrosanct, do not dispel
such worries.
Even in the arena of film people are being inconsistent. One film often mentioned as a better way to
do Homer than Troy is the Coen brothers O Brother Where Art Thou?, in which the Odyssey is taken
as inspiration for a story set in the southern United States in the 1930s. Now, I am not going to
promote the notion thatTroy is a better movie than O Brother , since it clearly isnt, but I am
interested in the idea that the changes the Coens make are more acceptable than those of Petersons
film. Are we really suggesting that it is intrinsically truer to Homer to shift him into the Depression (or,
say, turn of the century Dublin), and make the free adaptation that such a setting requires, than to
keep him in the Bronze Age, but then change some of the details?
One wonders whether critics of Troy might benefit from another read of the Iliadthemselves. The
central theme of the epic is Achilles anger at the removal of Briseis by Agamemnon, an anger that
blinds him to whats really important, winning the war. Troy is a blockbuster film, that will raise the
profile of Homer and the Classics in general. Classics as a profession should be ready to take
advantage of that. Instead, I have the impression were sulking in our tents.