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Tony Grist

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Achilles Does the Washing Up [May. 28th, 2004|02:22 pm]
Tony Grist

The thing to remember about Troy is that it's not the Iliad. Keep telling yourself that and you'll not be so disappointed.

It's not about the Bronze Age either.  It's a modern story that utilises characters and situations from Homer (and Virgil etc) - a confident, well-crafted,  good-looking epic that's rather less dumb than most.

You spend this much money and you have to compromise. The biggest compromise here is to inflate Briseis into a romantic heroine. I like Saffron Burrows- she's awfully cute and sparky- but she doesn't belong. It's bad enough that she turns Achilles into a new man, it's even worse that she gets to kill Agamemnon- a revision of legend which aborts the Oresteia.

But Brad Pitt (not my favourite actor) is rather magnificent. And Brian Cox and Brendan Gleeson are terrific as the Atridae. Then there's dear old Peter O'Toole thesping away as Priam. The least satisfactory of the central characters is Eric Bana's Hector- an Aragorn look-alike in a silly helmet that emphasizes his weak chin and pouting lips. It's a pity he gets killed, but I wasn't made to care. I cared more about Orlando Bloom's Paris, who is given an engaging story line as the coward who redeems himself (by exercising those archery skills he picked up in Loth Lorien.)

There are better films to be quarried out of  the matter of Troy, but they'll be cheaper films. They won't contain magnificent computerized sets and battle sequences.  You want a gay Achilles? You'll have to make do with an indie budget. 

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-05-28 08:54 am (UTC)
The point of it is that is an entertaining blockbuster.

That said I was dissapointed Achilles was alpha male hetero!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-05-28 09:11 am (UTC)
It is entertaining. Some of the soppy stuff dragged a bit. But the CGI was as good as I've seen. Those armies looked real. So did Troy itself. And wasn't the wooden horse beautiful!
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-05-28 09:21 am (UTC)
wonderful!
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[User Picture]From: balirus
2004-05-28 08:58 am (UTC)
You want a gay Achilles? You'll have to make do with an indie budget.

Too bad Gus Van Sant didn't direct, he would have poofed Achilles up a bit.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-05-28 09:20 am (UTC)
Well quite!

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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-29 07:37 am (UTC)
You brilliant, brilliant man. You have made my evening with your review. Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-05-29 07:48 am (UTC)
Aw shucks! (blushes fetchingly)
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-29 09:22 am (UTC)
It's true, it's true! But the way the story about Churchill was soooo funny I had a fit of laughter and Father and his colleagues poked their heads in and told me I would have given Vincent Price a run for his money.

I got the look from the newest addition to his firm. And then New Boy said, "Oh, I rather like Price." That's right, thanks to you and that poor deformed thing, I am now the greatest thing since stilettos. Excuse me. I must away to choke on cigar smoke to see whether there is gray matter under the gel.
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