Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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See! Violence does solve problems!

If one looks at my previous post, one will see how I threatened the LJ staff, and within seconds, my ability to edit was restored.

Might makes right. Fight, fight, fight.


It has a rocky opening act, Orlando Bloom is a little uncomfortable and James Horner's music is a godawful blend of that wailing "this is MIDDLE EASTERN music!!!" sound* (Peter Gabriel did it well, Hans Zimmer did it okay, but Horner can't do at all), Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis" and Miklós Rózsa's El Cid, but other than that, Troy is great entertainment.

The performances, save Bloom's (and even he is effective, just uncomfortable as Paris) are all excellent, with Brad Pitt as a perfect Achilles, Peter O'Toole as a pious Priam, Brendan Gleeson as a furious Menelaus and Brian Cox as a vile Agammemnon. Julie Christie even shows up as Thetis. She isn't really in the film for any reason other than to have Julie Christie in the film, but who can complain about another chance to see Julie Christie?

The best performance in the film, however, is Eric Bana's committed turn as the earnest, honorable and doomed Hector. He grounds the film, and his inevitable fate is quite well handled. This is not to take away from the skills of any of the other leads (particularly Pitt, who is fantastic), it is just that this role really ties the film together.

The movie avoids all supernatural elements (Achilles is not literally invincible, for example) but sidesteps them with such panache that it is really difficult to fault that element of adaptation. From time to time, the film does depart from "The Iliad," but for the most part to its credit.

The film also keeps its scale very consistent with the era depicted. You don't see millions of Greeks attacking Troy, you see one thousand ships worth (but that's plenty). There is also a rather welcome lack of overpumped action cliches, concentrating instead on storytelling.

The film has been getting mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it, as have most of the people I've spoken to about it (although most have mentioned how bad the music is). I strongly recommend it.

Unfortunately, the film was shot in the odious Super 35 format, yielding very ugly, grainy prints, which severely compromises Roger Pratt's otherwise quite good widescreen photography.

Sean Bean plays Odysseus, and I suppose it is too much to ask for, but based upon his performance in the film, I think that a sequel based on "The Odyssey" starring Bean would be fantastic.


* - Why the Middle Eastern music when Troy takes place in the Mediterranean? I mean, there is plenty of evidence of what music from the era must have sounded like, and it doesn't sound like this, so if they wanted to make it topical, shouldn't they have started there?

They should never have replaced Gabriel Yared's score. I can say that with authority, as one can sample cues from his blood and thunder epic effort on his website. This is clearly material that would have worked much better with the film than Horner's crap.

Oh, and since this was apparently a source of apprehension among some of my friends, let me just say that I, for one, am quite satisfied with the appearance of the Trojan Horse. It is pretty much what it would have looked like given the situation...

Tags: cinema, reviews
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