Troy (film)

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Troy Theatrical Poster
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Produced by Wolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson
Plan B
Written by Poem The Iliad:
  David Benioff
Starring Brad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Brian Cox
Sean Bean
Peter O'Toole
Diane Kruger
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Editing by Peter Honess
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) May 13, 2004
Running time 163 minutes
Language English
Budget $175 million USD
IMDb profile

Troy is a movie that was released on May 14, 2004 about the Trojan War, which is described in Homer's Iliad and other Greek myths as having taken place in Anatolia (modern Turkey) around the 13th or 12th century BC; however, the plot differs greatly from Homer (see deviations below). The film boasts an all-star cast: Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, Diane Kruger as Helen, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, Sean Bean as Odysseus, and Peter O'Toole as Priam. It is directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and written by David Benioff. It received an Oscar nomination for its costume design.


[edit] Plot

In the year 1193 BC, Agamemnon is king of the Greeks, and he covets the rich city of Troy. Troy is the center of a strong city-state and is known for its great defensive walls. When Troy's younger prince, Paris, woos the beautiful Helen away from her husband, Menelaus, king of Sparta and brother of Agamemnon, Agamemnon has his excuse and rallies the Greeks to attack Troy. Achilles and his team of elite Myrmidons assist the invasion. Achilles fights a duel with Hector, older brother of Paris, and Odysseus devises the building of the wooden Trojan Horse pulled into the city. In the battle that follows, almost all major male characters in the movie are shown to die, leaving only Paris and Odysseus alive.

[edit] Finance and Reaction

Image:Diane kruger17.jpg
Forbidden love between Paris and Helen

Troy screenings have earned $133 million (US$133,378,256) in the United States. <ref name=BOMojoTroy>

    "Troy" (film data), Box Office Mojo, 2006,, webpage:

</ref> Having cost $175 million to make,<ref name=BOMojoTroy/> some thought the film was a flop (a complete financial failure), but only in the US. Many critics anticipated the failure, when Troy barely missed the $50 million mark on its opening US weekend and wrote off the film. Some critics had a tendency to lump Troy into the category of recent failed historical epics, such as Alexander (2004), The Alamo (2004), King Arthur (2004) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005).[citation needed] Troy has been compared to Gladiator, not just because of gory ancient battles, but also due to director Wolfgang Petersen's regrets over turning down the chance to work on Gladiator. However, Troy did become a financial success, as more than 73%<ref name=BOMojoTroy/> of its revenues were made outside of the U.S. Eventually Troy made over US$497 million dollars worldwide,<ref name=BOMojoTroy/> placing it in the #45 spot<ref name=BOMojoTroy/> of top box office hits of all time. This places the film 14 spots above Gladiator (#59) <ref>

    "Gladiator" (film data), Box Office Mojo, 2001/2006,, webpage:

</ref> in the all-time worldwide box office.

Troy met mixed reactions by reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a Tomatometer rating of 55% from a base of 211 reviews while Yahoo! Movies gave it a critic rating of "B-" (although that was based on 15 Critical Reviews). Roger Ebert, who seemed to dislike what he saw as an unfaithful adaptation of the Iliad, gave it two stars out of four [1] Ebert claimed that Troy "sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie clichés and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computer-generated armies." David Denby of The New Yorker, however, seemed to like it[2]: "[It's] harsh, serious, and both exhilarating and tragic, the right tonal combination for Homer."

*All numbers and ratings in this section are true to September 26, 2006.

[edit] Box Office totals

  • Budget - $175,000,000 <ref name=BOMojoTroy/>
  • Marketing cost - $50,000,000
  • Opening Weekend Gross (Domestic) - $46,865,412
  • Total Domestic Grosses - $133,378,256
  • Total Overseas Grosses - $364,031,596 <ref name=BOMojoTroy/>
  • Total Worldwide Grosses - $497,378,256

[edit] Cast

Actor Role
Brad Pitt Achilles
Eric Bana Hector
Orlando Bloom Paris
Diane Kruger Helen
Peter O'Toole King Priam
Sean Bean Odysseus
Brian Cox Agamemnon
Brendan Gleeson Menelaus
Ken Bones Hippasus
Saffron Burrows Andromache
Rose Byrne Briseis
Julie Christie Thetis
James Cosmo Glaucus
Frankie Fitzgerald Aeneas
Julian Glover Triopas
Garrett Hedlund Patroclus
Tyler Mane Ajax
Vincent Regan Eudorus
John Shrapnel Nestor
Nigel Terry Telephus
Aroni Maropis Philoctetes

[edit] Deviations from The Iliad

The film Troy differs greatly from what Homer wrote, in many ways. The time-scale was reduced to weeks, and major characters died at Troy, who had lived beyond the 10-year war in Homer's writings, such as Agamemnon and Menelaus. The Greek gods and goddesses are not active forces in the film, as they were in Homer's Illiad. Also, other characters' actions, injuries, or deaths are very different from the plot according to mythology, such as the high rank in Troy of Aeneas, the future death of Achilles father, and the fate of Helen of Troy, who, according to Homer, left Troy with Menelaus, back to Greece.

It would be difficult to give a fair assessment as to the historical accuracy of the film, as the historicity of Homer's largely mythological account, is uncertain itself. The actual events surrounding the Trojan War are a matter of debate among scholars. One, however, can compare the film to Homer's original Epic Cycle story, on which the filmmakers claimed to have based their story.

The biggest discrepancy is the absence of the gods. The underlying idea is that Homer's version used gods and goddesses to exaggerate and explain elements of the events, and perhaps as representations for other forces at play. In the movie, the gods are repeatedly mentioned, but the Iliad has them as major characters. Most of the major events of the Iliad are the result of divine interventions. The absence of the gods is the root of many of the film's discrepancies as the results of their actions make very little sense without the gods overtly working. Though Achilles' mother, Thetis, does make a brief appearance and displays prophetic powers, she is not identified as a goddess except when the page boy speaks to Achilles of the legends surrounding him. Achilles answers the boy in such a way that it seems Achilles himself doesn't believe the legends.

According to the Iliad, the entire war from the time of Helen's abduction by Paris until the fall of Troy took ten years and not the few weeks depicted in the movie. The Iliad begins with the falling out between Achilles and Agamemnon, which takes place approximately ten years into the conflict. Some characters are missing in the movie (notably, Diomedes, Idomeneus, Calchas, Hecuba and Cassandra); others are killed differently than is described in the myth (Ajax, Menelaus, Agamemnon). There is also a lengthy romance between Achilles and his captive Briseis which does not exist in the original story, likely inserted because of the star. Brad Pitt's, appeal to women. In the Iliad, Achilles and Patroclus are lovers, but a gay Brad Pitt just wouldn't make the box-office cut.

In fact, in the Iliad, Briseis, along with Chryseis, are kidnapped when the Achaeans sack the town of Chryse, an ally of Troy. Briseis was given to Achilles and Chryseis to Agamemnon. It was not until Agamemnon was forced to return Chryseis that he demanded Briseis from Achilles.

However, the movie makes a point in a key silent scene on why this Helen (and perhaps the historical one, too) was considered so beautiful. In the scene, after running away with her, Paris is escorting Helen on a chariot through Troy for the first time. Here, there are shots of dark-haired, dark-eyed, tanned-skinned women dominating the features of Troy's female population. The women all look testily on the movie's Helen, perhaps jealous of her different coloring, perhaps upset that war is coming over her.

Helen of Troy: the main factor that caused the Trojan War.

In the movie, after Paris and Helen make it to Troy and are together in his room, he offers to take her away from Troy so Menelaus and Agamemnon will not find them. She replies that she cannot make him leave his home for her, and he answers that she left hers for him. Helen then mentions that she was sent by her parents to Sparta, but that it was never her home. This assertion has no basis in myth, because Sparta was Helen's birth place, she was a Spartan princess. Helen was one sibling among two sets of twins that were the children of Leda after she was seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. Her twin sister was Clytemnestra, and her brothers were Castor and Pollux, the Dioscuri. Her adoptive father, King Tyndareus, named Menelaus his successor after Helen's brothers Castor and Pollux became ineligible for the Spartan throne because they were living between Hades and Mount Olympus (see Castor and Pollux for more details).

In the movie, the duel between Paris and Menelaus takes place with an understanding on both sides that the results of the duel will not be honored (i.e. the war will not be decided solely by it). Hector knows that the Greeks did not sail the distance just for one man's wife, and Agamemnon only agrees to the duel once Menelaus suggests that it would be a good pretence for a surprise attack. In the Iliad, the duel was understood to be taking place in good faith (interestingly, Paris challenged any Greek who would fight him, only to sulk back into the ranks when Menelaus was produced, until Hector persuaded him to fight). Paris begins to lose the duel, but is rescued by Aphrodite who whisks him away to his room, where he is berated by Helen for his cowardice. The movie takes a different course, having Hector intervene to save his brother by killing Menelaus himself and allowing Helen a more modern-day sympathy for Paris' plight, declaring "I don't want a hero, my love, I want a man I can grow old with".

In the movie, Paris woos Helen during peace talks between the Greeks and the Trojans. However, in mythology, Paris is promised Helen during the Judgement of Paris, in which Paris chooses Aphrodite as the fairest goddess on Olympus in return for the love of the most beautiful woman. This event also implies that Paris is a generation or so older than Helen, as the judgement took place at the wedding of Achilles' parents, Peleus and Thetis (several years before Achilles is conceived--Achilles himself is in his late teenage years at the onset of the war, and thus roughly half Paris's age). In the movie, Paris and Helen appear to be of equal age, Achilles is considerably older than them, and it seems as if Paris is unmarried as he speaks to Hector about his wavering love life. In mythology, Paris was married to the nymph Oenone. He then abandons Oenone and their child, Corythus, for Helen.

In the movie, when Priam comes to beg for the body of his son Hector, he says that Achilles's father died before his time. In mythology, Achilles returns the body because he recognizes that the way Priam grieves for Hector is the way that his father (who is living and awaiting his return) will one day grieve for him. In the Iliad, Priam had fifty sons before the Trojan war; at the time of Hector's death, only nine remained (Helenus, Paris, Agathon, Pammon, Antiphonus, Polites, Deiphobus, Hippothous, and Dius). In addition, when Priam came into Achilles's tent, the two were not alone (Automedon and Alcimus were present), and Priam came bearing a sizable ransom for the body. Both Priam and Achilles had been coached by the gods regarding this encounter. Whereas in the movie, Priam departs the tent of Achilles early in the morning, in the Iliad, Priam is roused during the night by Hermes, who tells him to leave on the basis that it is ill-advised to sleep in the tent of the enemy.

In the movie, Menelaus is slain by Hector to save Paris when he flees from the fight between him and Menelaus, and Helen escapes the burning of Troy with Paris. In mythology, Menelaus survives and returns to Greece with Helen, where they die of old age years later. In the movie, Agamemnon is killed by Briseis when he taunts her, but in mythology Agamemnon lives to return to Greece, where he is killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover.

In the movie, Patroclus is the cousin of Achilles, while in mythology he was Achilles's cousin once removed, and, of course, Achilles' lover. This is not the case in the movie. In the movie, Paris warns against the acceptance of the Trojan Horse, but in mythology a Trojan priest named Laocoön warns against the acceptance of the Trojan Horse. Laocoön is then killed by a sea serpent, making the Trojans believe that the gods want them to accept the horse. In the movie, the Trojan horse fits right through the gates of Troy, while in mythology the Trojans' walls had to be partially disassembled for the Trojan horse to fit through.

In the movie, Achilles is killed by Paris during the fall of Troy -- he does shoot him through his heel, but this is not the killing strike (and it appears it is more the distraction of trying to save Briseis that leaves him vulnerable than the wound to his heel). Rather, several shots to the chest appeared to kill him, but before he died, Achilles pulled them from his chest, leaving the evident wound evident to the Greeks who found him the ankle strike. In mythology Paris shoots Achilles in the heel with an arrow guided by Apollo. This happens before the Trojan Horse is even built and thus Achilles never would have entered the horse. Additionally, there is no mention in the Iliad of Achilles returning Briseis to Priam nor of him entering the city to save her from the burning of Troy.

In the movie, Priam is killed by Agamemnon, while in mythology, Achilles' son, Neoptolemus, kills him. As a side-note, since Achilles is only in his late twenties at this point of the Homeric version of the legend, he must have fathered Neoptolemus at a very young age, probably no older than fourteen, and his son did not accompany him on the intitial voyage to Troy (as told in Greek dramas like Philoctetes by Sophocles). Although his presence would make sense given Achilles' depicted age in the film, Neoptolemus is still absent. In the movie, Patroclus is killed by Hector, who mistakes him as Achilles. In mythology, Patroclus is wounded by Euphorbos and Hector kills him with a spear in the belly, knowing that he is Patroclus in Achilles' armor.

In the movie, Ajax is killed by Hector in battle. In mythology, that battle is inconclusive, at the behest of Zeus, on the basis of darkness. In the Iliad, the two exchange gifts at this point. In the movie, events unwind similarly except that, instead of gifts, it's Hector killing Ajax. Additionally, whereas the two meet randomly on the field of battle in the movie, in the Iliad, Ajax wins a lottery to accept Hector's challenge. Years later, after Achilles' death, Ajax and Odysseus compete for Achilles' armor. When Ajax loses, he flies into a fit of rage, attacks a flock of sheep which he mistakes for Greeks. According to another myth, he swears revenge on the Greeks and attacks their cattle. In both, he ultimately commits suicide.

In the movie, Paris escapes the burning of Troy, while in mythology Paris is killed by Philoctetes. In the movie, Astyanax, the son of Hector, escapes the burning of Troy with his mother, Andromache. In mythology, Astyanax is thrown to his death from the walls of Troy, and Andromache becomes the slave of Neoptolemus. Also in the movie Aeneas is portrayed as a normal Trojan citizen, but in mythology Aeneas was the son-in-law of Priam and second-in-command of the Trojan forces.

In the movie, Achilles is the first Greek ashore; in mythology, Protesilaus was the first Greek to land on the shore of Troy and thereby fulfill the prophecy that the first Greek to land on the Trojan shore would be the first to die, after slaying several Trojans.

In the movie, Achilles has no knowledge of Patroclus's scheme to wear his armor into battle. In the Iliad, Achilles agrees to the plan which is forged by Nestor. In the movie, combat ends near the beach head after the death of Patroclus; in the Iliad, the counterattack pushes the Trojan forces to their city walls. Additionally, in mythology, Hector is only able to slay Patroclus with the aid of Apollo, who strips him of his armor and gives it to Hector. This is followed in mythology by a battle over the remains of Patroclus, but the film has Odysseus and Hector engineer a truce.

Whereas in the film, Achilles seeks revenge for the death of Patroclus by donning his armor and heading off towards a duel with Hector, in the Iliad, Achilles first had to wait for Hephaestus to forge him a new suit of armor and there was an intervening battle before the duel. There is also a battle between Achilles and Xanthus, the stream god, who is angered that Achilles has filled his river with corpses immediately preceding the duel.

Whereas in the film, Hector marches out from behind the walls to fight Achilles, in the Iliad, he is already outside--having advised his soldiers to camp outside the city walls--and instead flees three times around the city walls until he is tricked to stand and fight by the goddess Athena who appears as Hector's brother Deiphobus and offers to help him double-team Achilles.

The fact that Hector has stolen Achilles' armor becomes critical to the plot of the Iliad because Achilles is able to exploit the armor's weakness's and quickly land a spear in the vicinity of Hector's neck. This is followed by a plea from Hector to respect funeral rights, which is mocked by Achilles who promises to mutilate Hector's body.

Whereas in the film, Achilles returns the body of Hector the night following the duel, in the Iliad, he continues to drag the body around the funeral bier of Patroclus for nine days, until the gods intervene, deciding that Hector deserves a proper burial. All of these events, in the Iliad serve to highlight Achilles' crippling grief upon the death of his lover. He has always been a prideful and arrogant hero, but the loss of Patroclus humanizes him to some extent. Yet, it also brings about his greatest hubristic acts.

In the movie, Priam presents the Sword of Troy to Paris who uses it to battle Menelaus, and Paris later gives the sword to Aeneas as both are escaping the city. These events have no basis in mythology. The Sword of Troy seems to represent the Penates, which Aeneas eventually takes with him on his journey. Additionally, Aeneas is a fully adult warrior in the myth, while in the film he is still very young.

In mythology, Priam was delivered safely to the tent of Achilles by the god Hermes. In the film, Priam claims his superior knowledge of the lay of the land allowed him passage.

Achilles shows contempt for Apollo by beheading his statue and sacking his temple despite the warnings of his comrades. He tells Briseis that she will find her love affair with Apollo one-sided and posits that the gods envy mortals. Although, in mythology, Achilles did have a special relationship with the gods, having an immortal mother and having been bestowed with supernatural protection, such a depiction of his theological views is not entirely accurate. In the Iliad, it is Achilles who offers to protect the prophet Calchas against Agamemnon in exchange for his advice as to how to end the wrath of Apollo. Also, no Greek would describe worship of the gods as a "one-sided" love affair. Their mythology is full of very double-sided affairs, and when they are one-sided, it's usually because the human resists.

[edit] Music

Composer Gabriel Yared originally worked on the score for Troy for about a year, having been hired by the director, Wolfgang Peterson, who trusted him to be able to write an epic score, despite Gabriel Yared's previous work being anything but epic.

Gabriel wrote an original score for Troy, which was conducted by Harry Rabinowitz and Nick Ingman. Tanja Tzarovska sang on Yared's score, as she later would on Horner's version of the soundtrack. However, after having screened the movie with an early incomplete version of the score, the reactions were against the score and in less than a day Gabriel was off the project and the studio was already looking for someone else to do a complete rewrite<ref></ref>

Around the time of the film's release in theaters, Gabriel Yared briefly made his Troy music available on the Internet on his personal website. Currently, Yared's score can only be found as an unofficially-released bootleg album on the Internet.

In the end, the final score was written by James Horner utilizing droning vocals, traditional in Eastern Mediterranean music and brass instruments used to support the film's mythos. Drums are conspicuous in the most dramatic scenes; most notably, in the duel between Achilles and Hector.

Perhaps as a result of the unusually short time in which Horner wrote the score, a mere 9 days, or perhaps simply another example of Horner borrowing from himself as well as others, the score for Troy also contains some elements of the musical score Horner did for the 2001 World War II movie Enemy at the Gates with part of the musical score for the arrival of Achilles and the Greek forces on the beaches of Troy utilising part of the musical score from Enemy At The Gates when the poorly-armed soldiers of the Red Army were assaulting the German Army's lines in Stalingrad's main square.

Furthermore, various elements of the soundtracks seem to have been borrowed from 20th century Russian music, significantly from that of Shostakovich and Rachmainoff. In particular there is a phrase from the 4th movement of Shostakovich's 5th symphony which is continually repeated while the armies are prepared for war.

The end-credits song "Remember" <ref name=SMPtroy>

   "Josh Groban: Remember (from Troy)" [song], Sheet Music Plus, 2006, webpage:

</ref> ("Remember Me") was composed by James Horner with Josh Groban, David Foster, Randy Kerber, Jochem van der Saag, and Tanja Tzarovska, with lyrics by Cynthia Weil,<ref name=SMPtroy/> sung by Josh Groban.

[edit] Awards (Wins and Nominations)

2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

2005 Academy Awards (Oscars)

2005 Japanese Academy Prize

  • Nominated - Best Foreign Film

2005 MTV Movie Awards

2005 Motion Picture Sound Editors (Golden Reel Award)

  • Nominated - Best Sound Editing in Foreign Features — Wylie Stateman, Martin Cantwell, James Boyle, Harry Barnes, Paul Conway, Alex Joseph, Matthew Grime, Steve Schwalbe, Howard Halsall, Sue Lenny, Simon Price, Nigel Stone

2005 Teen Choice Awards

  • Won - Choice Movie Actor - Drama/Action Adventure — Brad Pitt
  • Nominated - Choice Breakout Movie Star - Male — Garrett Hedlund
  • Nominated - Choice Movie - Drama/Action Adventure
  • Nominated - Choice Movie Fight/Action Sequence

[edit] Trivia

  • The role of Helen had been first offered to renowned Indian beauty Aishwarya Rai (who was also voted most beautiful woman in the world by a global survey), and when she refused it, Diane Kruger was offered the role.
  • This was Brad Pitt's first historical war film.
  • Near the end of the film, when Troy is burning, Orlando Bloom approaches a young man supporting his father. When asked who he is, the young man says that he is Aeneas. Orlando Bloom's character then tells him to find a new home for the Trojan survivors. This is a reference to The Aeneid by Virgil, in which the main character, Aeneas, flees the ruin of Troy with his father and other survivors to found a new Trojan kingdom in Italy.
  • The opening fight scene--Achilles vs. Boagrius--shows a surprising fighting technique that is not from any human martial art but--astonishingly--from bullfighting. Achilles is faced by a one-on-one duel as as alternative to a pitched battle between two armies. Many lives depend on the outcome. Achilles's opponent is Boagrius, a seven-foot-tall, shaven-headed, heavily-muscled hero, who would have cowed anyone but Achilles. Achilles approaches him nonchalantly; the two throw their javelins, harmlessly; and the warriors approach for the final sword-fight. Surprisingly, Achilles runs toward Boagrius, leaps up, raises his sword high, and stabs him with the sword through the upper trapezius muscle, between the clavicles, and through the heart, aorta, or other vital point. A [[cardiologist was asked whether this was possible and confirmed that it was, just barely, possible to pierce the aorta that way, given precise knowedge of anatomy , great skill, and perfect timing. It is precisely the technique for an estocada, but on an animal of a different species: a human rather than a bull. Boagrius reacts much like a bull: he grunts, staggers forward one step, falls on his face, and stops moving.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes


[edit] External links

de:Troja (Film) es:Troya (película) fi:Troija (elokuva) fr:Troie (film, 2004) he:טרויה (סרט) hr:Troja (2004) it:Troy ja:トロイ (映画) nl:Troy (film) pl:Troja (film) pt:Troy ru:Троя (фильм) sv:Troja (film) tr:Truva (film)

Troy (film)

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