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.