Cast and Crew: Wolfgang Petersen (Director); Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Peter O’Toole
What It’s About: A glossy, somewhat empty-headed retelling of Homer’s epic The Iliad. The gods, who are some of the most interesting characters in the original epic, are edited out (with the exception of Julie Christie as a vaguely crazed Thetis), probably to avoid turning the movie into Clash of the Titans II. Peter O’Toole as Priam brings the most authentic gravitas; Orlando Bloom is suitably annoying as Paris; Sean Bean preserves some level of dignity as Odysseus; and Brad Pitt sports a wardrobe that prominently features body oil and a midriff top. (The film was nominated for an Academy Award for costume design.) It’s also about CGI. So, if you’re into Oiled Brad Pitt and CGI, and you haven’t already seen Troy, you are in for a treat. If you’re into Greek mythology and literature, you can hope for a good laugh.
Why Watch it Today?: Those who study ancient Greek know that March 4th is “Exelauno Day” (a cheesy pun: the verb “exelauno” means “I march forth”). Watch a movie about ancient Greeks (or CGI comrades of Brad Pitt) marching forth to battle. Don’t worry, it won’t spoil the book — essentially the only people to survive both Troy and The Iliad are Aeneas and Odysseus (Sean Bean, in perhaps his first role to survive to the end of the movie). Maybe they were trying to set up a sequel (Ithaca?) to compete with the ridiculous Armand Assante Odyssey miniseries…
This movie does not have any men in leather pants. However, it has a lot of men in leather mini-skirts. The number of leather mini-skirts is like unto the sands of the seashore, or poppy seeds, or the stars in the heavens.
Oh, what fun; an absolutely delightful (and spot on) review! And to think, I was just sharing the joys of this film with my 8th graders, noting that there is at least one line in Troy, the movie, that can also be found in the actual epic, The Iliad (I believe O’Toole, as Priam, gasps something like “It is the will of the gods” while grabbing Brad Pitt around the knees). My students will be taking their Iliad test later this week; though they have been warned about the liberties taken with the text, I have a feeling that far too many of them will be “studying” by watching this movie during our snow day today! Imagine the fun I’ll have grading the tests!
This remains one of the few movies I ever walked out on. 🙂