This evening’s movie was Troy, the 2003 Wolfgang Peterson vehicle, starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox, Peter O’Toole, and many others. This film is based on Iliad by Homer, although it takes extremely generous liberties with Homer’s original story.

Putting those aside, many of which are very likely to be missed by those who have either not read The Iliad or not read it recently, the absence of the Greek gods was very noticeable and dragged the story away from an ancient epic of glory to a more watered-down one that seemed to try not to be too offensive. While it is expected that screenplays assert creative license over the source material, the changes were a little too Hollywood.

The scope of the film was huge and the fight sequences beautifully choreographed. The scenery, photography, and visual ambience of the film were stunning, magnificent, and quite awe-inspiring. The special effects tended to get out of the way of the storytelling. The music blended well with the story, although some of it seemed quite out of place. The acting was satisfactory, although I thought that Briseis was more attractive than Helen (in fact, a few of the women in the movie are as attractive as the “face that launched a thousand ships”).

Despite the liberties that could have been forgone, it was quite an entertaining epic. I have to dock this film a few points for the inaccuracies to the original myth, having studied classical studies in college. As blockbusters go, though, this one is worth the rental fee.

My grade: B-.


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