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Culture Reviews
Troy
Dome Cinema 
Troy thrills, but lacks depth
By Marcelle Moroz
The long-awaited release of the movie version of Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, Troy, is over. It opened in Moscow at the America Cinema on May 20. Starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, and Eric Bana, the film traces the fate of princes of Troy Hector and Paris, Achilles, and Helen, “the face that launched a thousand ships,” during the time of the Trojan War.

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the film is the scenery, which in fact was not filmed in Greece, but almost completely in Malta and Mexico over a six-month period. It is clear that the budget for the film was tremendous (approximately $370 million), judging by the elaborate backdrops, costumes, and battle scenes.

The film was captivating, if dragging a bit by the end. Paris, a prince of Troy, captures the heart of the wife of Menelaus, Helen from Sparta, and she willingly sets sail for Troy, marrying Paris to become Helen of Troy. Meanwhile, Paris’ brother Prince Hector is furious, as this inevitably brings war to the shores of Troy. However, he remains loyal to his brother’s convictions of love, as does their father, Priam (Peter O’Toole), and Troy chooses to fight the Greeks, fast approaching across the Aegean Sea. Many aspects of the original poem are left aside, which is probably a good thing, because the film is long enough as it is.

The language spoken in the film is modern, making it easy to understand for anyone who has trouble with epic poetry. Eric Bana was impressive as Prince Hector, while the dialogue written for Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt missed the mark. At times, it seemed as if the director threw them on screen just to let viewers ogle them. Neither one is quite as convincing as they might have been in their roles. At the same time, Paris and Helen’s relationship is never fully understood nor developed. The fight scenes serve as the film’s main focus, and are skillfully enacted and realistic, allowing those with a love for sword fighting to get what they are looking for.

In the end, it is another extravagant, yet enjoyable Hollywood movie. One evident drawback of the film was the fact that it tried to convey some moral message, but fell short of its target. From Achilles, to a random soldier carving an ivory figurine, to the princes of Troy, statements of loyalty and family abound, all of which was very clich?. Achilles is flat, appearing to experience changes of heart and forget his desire to be a hero for love and family, but ultimately resorts to the use of force at every occasion. The only truly compelling characters in the film are Prince Hector and his father Priam, while others simply lack depth. Nevertheless, if you enjoy beach battles, good costuming, scenery, and an interesting story, Troy is worth seeing.

24.05.04
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