Waiting for Apollo


Hols are here, and sis has exams, so for once, I get the remote all to myself.

As is usual, I, as an accomplished zapper, was zapping through channels when I came across HBO showing Troy. It’s pretty surprising that even with LAN, I hadn’t seen this movie before. I’d always gotten bored with the helmets and shields and swords and Brad Pitt’s oh-lookie-me-im-so-gorgeous looks [Women who read my blog, don’t thrash me for this!].

One hour of the movie was already up, having gone in me flipping between Friends and their clone on Jaya TV called Krishna Cottage [It’s a sad rip-off, don’t even bother watching].

A long, long time ago, this childrens’ magazine called Chandamama used to carry out a monthly series on the Iliad and the Odyssey. In keeping with the intended audience, the editors had given short shrift to the Iliad [the war for Helen of Troy], and spent more time on the adventures of Ulysses/Odysseus as he made his way back to Ithaca from Troy. So Achilles [Brad Pitt’s character in the movie] got just a paragraph: It mentioned that he was the son of Peleus and Thetis, who was a goddess. And that he’d been dipped in the river Styx by his mother to make him immortal, but she held him by the heel, so that part of him was mortal. And also that he’d offended Apollo [the Sun God, I think], so Apollo sat on an arrow during the war and slanted it so that it hit Achilles in the heel.

I really wanted to see the last bit. Apollo riding an arrow.

So I endured it as Achilles beheaded the statue of Apollo outside his temple. Ah! Finally he’s offended Apollo. And lookie! There’s Hector, Prince of Troy riding right up. Where’s the arrow? Oh, daarn! Hector was badly outnumbered and relieved of his spear, the thing that came closest to an arrow in the frame.

Next, King Priam is talking strategy with the rest of the Trojans. Some old man in a blue tunic says Apollo sent an eagle – a sure sign that the Trojans would win the next day. Okay, this is when it comes. Hector rides out of the fort, screaming “Archers!!!”. Oh, cool, this is it. But nope. All the archers did was shoot into the air, and there was no sign of whether the arrows hit anything.

King Priam talking strategy again. Old man saying Apollo is pleased with them yet again. Paris says he’ll fight a Greek for Helen, and winner takes all. But the Greek, instead of being Achilles as I’d hoped, turned out to be some Viking-looking villain. He defeats Paris, Paris runs away pleading for mercy. His brother Hector is challenged by the Viking. Hector drives a sword through the Viking. All-out war, as Paris violated the terms. Yell of “Archers!” yet again. Achilles on the top of a fort, away from all the action. Darn!

Next bit of all-out war. Hector thinks he’s fighting Achilles, and kills him. But it turns out to be the winner of the Brad Pitt lookalike contest, who in this movie is Achilles’ cousin. Darn again.

Anyway, thanks to that, Achilles is enraged, and goes all alone to the Trojan fort yelling for Hector. And fights him: I was becoming hopeful every time Hector picked up a spear. And kills him. And drags his body away. Darn, why did Hector stop his archers this time?

Trojan Horse next. God, wasn’t this supposed to be the very end, AFTER Achilles had died?

Paris is shown practicing archery. Hey, doesn’t that remind you of Legolas? Oh, what the heck, it is Legolas. Orlando Bloom. Okay, avenger of thine brother’s death, do thine stuff.

Greeks looting and pillaging Troy. Greeks, including Achilles ransacking the temple of Apollo. Murdering King Priam right in the temple of Apollo. Dear God, where the heck are you?

Anyway, Paris does away with his sword. It’s some sword that’s been in existence since the founding of Troy. And all his family are dead, so he gives it to his lookalike who luckily happens to know how to handle a sword. Paris takes to his bow’n’arrow.

Achilles rescuing some woman [I never got to know who she was, except that she was a cousin of Hector, and Prisoner of War who Achilles fell for]. Paris spots him. No one else around. Paris shoots.

Arrow 1: hits Achilles in the chest. He plucks it out.

Arrow 2: hits him in the stomach.

Arrow 3: Goes right through his ankle. He staggers.

Good God, where the heck was the part about Apollo slanting the arrow? Where was Apollo? Why was that blotted out completely? How else do you explain how the arrow hit his heel? It wouldn’t hurt to have a wee bit more of animation, would it? Darn! Tchah!

What can I say? The Book Is Always Better? Leave It To Hollywood to Mangle Elaborately-Thought-Of Plotlines?

Disclaimer: This is NOT a review of Troy.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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12 Responses to Waiting for Apollo

  1. Dushy says:

    Troy is actually a well taken movie though it is left with a few Hitches. The action scenes with Pitt are amazingly filmed .Nathan Jones-What a height!:O
    Here wishing u happy holidays Priya!:)
    PS:U can never expect a movie to be better to a book.Am I right?

  2. wanderlust says:

    oh, did i happen to sound like i thought the movie sucked? coz i didnt think so, really!
    the movie is amazingly well-shot, slick like it had to be. and eric bana and orlando bloom had me rooting for troy, though i knew the ending muuuch before.
    thanks, and good luck for what’s remaining of your endsems, and enjoy your hols that come right after.

    and yeah, you’re darned right. “the book” and “the movie” are two completely different interpretations of an idea, and movies can’t beat the book in the way that a book lets you imagine things as you want them to be, but a movie shows you things as someone else imagines them to be, and that, too, not perfectly.

  3. Anjaan says:

    My favourite Genre. – Epic War Action
    Troy, Illiad, A Knights Tale, ALexander, the HBO series Spartacus , Gladiator and many others.
    I think Wolfgang did justice to Homer. MOst of us know that commercialation of a subject like this will defenitely result in making it less aesthetic.
    But apart from brad pits short skirts which sent women reeling, i think the movie has some pretty breathtaking war sequences!
    I like!

    Wish ur sis all the best for her exams! 🙂

  4. the Monk says:

    You spelt the Iliad wrong. How could you?

  5. wanderlust says:

    @Anjaan:
    good to see you again, after a long, long while.

    @the Monk:
    Whoopsie! too many double L’s here, [AchiLLes, apoLLo, kiLL], missed the single L.

  6. randomwalker says:

    @wanderlust
    I thought Achilles was idiotically American in the movie Troy. That kind of arrogance was not evident in the original poem Iliad. Well, the movie was a hit. So I guess an American Achilles is not so bad after all for the current times 🙂

  7. jayanth says:

    There is no exception to the rule which says the movie is always better than the book. As far as i know, the only movie which came close to the book was ‘to kill a mockingbird’…

    Neway, Nice post…

  8. AJ says:

    A different perspective 😉
    Even though you say it’s not a review, I’ll take it as one. Had me laughing 😀
    I have watched the movie in bits and pieces and not completely.. So..

  9. Kripal says:

    @ jayanth
    i think u got that a little mixed up????

    “no exception to the rule which says the movie is always better than the book”

    The book, is always the movie. Except that in this day and age, where do “normal” people find the time to read. It is only the abnormal ones, like us, who read the books. And movies aren’t made for the minorities. It is made for the money which comes from the masses.

  10. wanderlust says:

    @randomwalker:
    brad pitt sells, arrogant or otherwise.
    @jayanth:
    movie better than the book? really? or was that a faux pas? and no, i won’t bludgeon you if it wasnt.
    @AJ:
    it makes for good entertainment.
    @kripal:
    like someone said before on my blog, on another post: anyone who can’t make time to read is a waste of protoplasm.

  11. Jayanth says:

    Terrible faux pas.

  12. Jagadish says:

    😀 :D…apollo sitting on the arrow 😀 :D…i just imagined that ! funny!… he he…you write well !

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