Once again, I’ve come to disagree with the critics. I was fully prepared to find as much fault with Troy as every other critic has stated. But I also knew that my interest in Eric Bana was enough to make me sit through this film, despite all negative reviews and commentary. The only good thing I’d ever heard about it was that Bana gave a terrific performance, so I knew I’d be happy with his portion of the film, and that was enough to take me through an (supposed) otherwise horrible movie. Again, I shouldn’t listen to the critics.
I LOVED Troy. I didn’t care about Brad Pitt’s affected non-descript European accent, I didn’t care that Orlando Bloom overacted his cowardly Paris role, and I didn’t mind hearing Eric Bana’s Aussie lilt slip into his speeches. I found the movie fun and epic and more than I’d hoped to see. [Except maybe the Trojan Horse, which I thought would appear more magnanimous on the screen.] Nothing about this movie bothered me in the least, and I hold it as dear as Gladiator and King Arthur. Troy is truly my kind of film.
My favorite element to the film surprised me, that of the Achilles character. I honestly didn’t have a great interest in Pitt’s role. I knew he was the star and that all of the story would focus back to him, but I wasn’t interested in that aspect of it. I was there to wade through his scenes until we returned to the Trojan portion. And then, in his very first scene, Pitt makes Achilles an irreverent and apathetic man. Loyal to no one but himself and his small band of soldiers. He was disrespectful to the king because the king had done nothing to earn his respect, and he was callous about his ability as an unbeatable warrior. And it charmed me! Portraying Achilles in this way was completely unexpected, and I couldn’t help but love the guy. I still wouldn’t root for him to defeat Hector, of course, but I loved the characterization of Achilles, and I really liked Pitt’s portrayal of him. Despite the terrible accent.
The movie is long, too long, but I still found each section to be necessary to the telling of this story. I needed the extra scenes about each character—Paris and Helen’s romance, Hector’s devotion to his father and his wife and son, even Achilles and the turning of his heart—in order for me to invest in the battles and the tragic consequences. I most loved the fact that we did not have to endure personification of any of the Greek gods; I liked having it all play out on human effort. In all of my high school study of The Iliad, I remember that I was always on the side of the Greek army, believing that the people of Troy had simply been outwitted and, therefore, lost the war in fair play. This movie made me side with the Trojans. Maybe it was Bana, maybe it was because the “good” king was shown to be the Priam, King of Troy. Whatever the reason, it was a nice surprise that now makes me want to reread The Iliad and determine if the movie has tainted my views or if, in fact, I have matured enough to realize what might have been overlooked in the past. That reason alone is enough to make Troy dear to my heart.