May 20, 2004  
Volume 98, Issue 01  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Brad Pitt: everyone’s favourite Greek boy Troy


Troy
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger

By Lori Mastronardi
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo
“ALL THIS ARMOUR AND NOTHING TO COVER MY JUNK?!” Brad Pitt gets ready to take some immortality in Troy and maybe endorse some condoms at the same time.

Troy tells a classic story of unwavering faith, twisted greed and unexpected love. If the viewer holds realistic expectations, the film will surely satisfy.

Wolfgang Petersen’s film explores the differences between lovers and fighters. Paris, the Prince of Troy (Bloom), inconveniently falls in love with a married woman: the Queen of Sparta (Kruger). The charming, naïve prince doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions, but only about his strong desire to be with the golden-haired beauty, leaving his older, more sensible brother Prince Hector (Bana) to deal with the newly sprung chaos.

Paris’ decision sparks a battle between the Greeks and the Trojans. King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson) seeks revenge in a desperate attempt to reclaim both his wife and his sense of pride. His brother, Agamemnon (Brian Cox), king of the collective Greek empire, joins Menelaus in an attempt to seize control of Troy and become supreme ruler of all the lands. The ensuing army formed to complete the task becomes the biggest the world has ever seen, but one man, Achilles (Pitt), is the most valuable warrior of all.

Pitt successfully fills the role of the self-absorbed and arrogant soldier obsessed with the possibility of becoming a legend. However, he seems more like a poster boy model for a Greek army recruitment campaign than a furious fighter.

Although Achilles is the mainstay of the Greeks’ courage and warrior pride, the feud between Achilles and Agamemnon seems to put Achilles in a class of his own, as he shows no allegiance to the empire. His ability to rip through hordes of men without being scathed causes the viewer to question why he fails to overthrow his hated comrade Agamemnon with one swipe of his nimble sword-wielding hand.

Bana plays the role of Prince Hector perfectly: he embodies Hector’s aura with youth to his face but wisdom to his demeanor. However, his father, King Priam (Peter O’Toole), places more faith in the power of the gods than in Hector’s sound advice. Priam’s repeated blunders inevitably lead to the deterioration of the Trojan Empire.

Bloom accurately portrays Paris as the lover and the coward. He embodies Paris’ innocence and easily becomes the most frustrating character in the film.

Helen, the main reason for all this bloodshed, merely watches as her selfish love brings pain to so many others. The film fails to fully develop her character, even though she is the source of so many complications and so much unnecessary hate. The only other seemingly significant female character is Briseis (Rose Byrne), considered the luckiest of women, as she becomes Achilles’ bed buddy.

The one-on-one battle scenes are entertaining, but nothing to phone home about. Achilles possesses the ability to jump and attack mid-air like a kung-fu master. His skills as a warrior are somewhat believable, save for the fact that he defeats copious amounts of soldiers without getting a mark on his pretty little suit.

Troy is nearly three hours in length, yet the story moves along rather quickly. The film provides ample plot twists and the numerous battle scenes are cut short before the viewer grows tired. Overall, Troy suggests that love cannot conquer all, but certainly can bring a nation of men to do some very stupid things.

 

 

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