- This article is about the 2004 movie called Troy. For the legendary Trojan city, see Troy. For other places and things called Troy, see Troy (disambiguation).
Troy is a movie released on May 14, 2004 about the Trojan War, which is described in Homer's Iliad and other Greek myths as having taken place in Anatolia (modern Turkey) around the 13th or 12th century BC. It stars, among others: Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, Sean Bean as Odysseus, Diane Kruger as Helen, and Peter O'Toole as Priam. It is directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and written by David Benioff . It received an Oscar nomination for its costume design.
In the year 1193 B.C, Agamemnon, king of the Greeks, rules most of the civilized world. But the city of Troy, known for its great defensive walls, is untouched. When Troy's younger prince, Paris, woos the beautiful Helen away from her husband, Menelaus, king of Sparta and brother of Agamemnon, Menelaus convinces Agamemnon to continue his imperialistic conquests and attack Troy. Achilles and his team of elite warriors assist the invasion.
It would be difficult to give a fair assessment as to the historical accuracy of the film. Viewers note that the film deviates in lots of places from Homer's/the Epic Cycle's original story, upon which the filmmakers claim to have based their film.
For instance, according to the Iliad, the entire war from the time of Helen's abduction by Paris until the fall of Troy took ten years and not the few weeks depicted in the movie. Some characters are missing (notably, Diomedes); others are killed differently than is described in the myth. There is also a lengthy romance between Achilles and his captive Briseis which is not existing in the original story.
There are also a number of other discrepancies between the mythology and the story given in the movie.
In the movie, Paris woos Helen during peace talks between the Greeks and the Trojans. However, in mythology, Paris is given Helen during the Judgement of Paris, in which Paris chooses Aphrodite as the fairest god in return for the love of the most beautiful woman. In the movie, it seems as if Paris is unmarried as he speaks to Hector about his wavering love life, but in mythology, Paris was wed to the nymph Oenone. He then abandons Oenone and their child, Corythus, for Helen.
In the movie, Menelaus is slain by Hector to save Paris when he flees from the fight between him and Menelaus. Also, Helen escapes the burning of Troy with Paris. In mythology Menelaus survives and returns to Greece with Helen, where they die of old age years later.
In the movie, Agamemnon is killed by Briseis when he taunts her, but in mythology Agamemnon lives to return to Greece where he is killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover.
In the movie, Patroclus is the cousin of Achilles, while in mythology he was Achilles's lover and/or best friend.
In the movie, Paris warns against the acceptance of the Trojan Horse, but in mythology a Trojan priest named Laoco÷n warns against the acceptance of the Trojan Horse. Laoco÷n is then killed by a sea serpent, making the Trojans believe that the gods want them to accept the horse.
In the movie, the Trojan horse fits right through the gates of Troy, while in mythology the Trojan's walls had to be partially disassembled for the Trojan horse to fit through.
In the movie, Achilles is killed by Paris during the burning of Troy; however, in mythology Paris shoots Achilles in the heel with a arrow guided by Apollo. This happens before the Trojan Horse is even built.
In the movie, Priam is killed by Agamemnon, while in mythology, Achilles's son, Neoptolemus, kills him.
In the movie, Patroclus is killed by Hector, who mistakes him as Achilles. In mythology, Patroclus is wounded by Euphorbos and Hector spears him in the belly, knowing that he is Patroclus in Achilles' armor.
In the movie, Ajax is killed by Hector in battle. In mythology, Achilles's armor is refused to Ajax who, in a fit of rage, attacks a flock of sheep who he mistakes for Greeks--he commits suicide after he realizes his mistake.
In the movie, Paris escapes the burning of Troy, while in mythology Paris is killed by Philoctetes.
In the movie, Astyanax, the son of Hector, escapes the burning of Troy with his mother, Andromache. In mythology, Astyanax is thrown to his death from the walls of Troy, and Andromache becomes the slave of Neoptolemus.
Also in the movie Aeneas is portrayed as a normal Trojan citizen, but in mythology Aeneas was the son-in-law of Priam and second-in-command of the Trojan forces.
It is also worth noting that the gods are not present in the film, except through people's belief in them - and even this is limited - for example, Hector's pragmatic approach to the war is contrasted with Priam's faith in the gods. In the original, Achilles speaks with his mother, Thetis, frequently referencing her connection to the other gods; in the movie, all dialogue relating to the gods is removed and while rumors of Achilles divine parentage are mentioned, his mother is never explicitly named as a goddess.
Finance and Reaction
Troy screening's have earned its makers $133 million in America, overall. Having cost more than $180 million to make, it might appear that it was a flop - a complete financial failure. Troy is quite a success actually. More than 70% of its revenues were made internationally. Thus, the actual sum made by this film is much higher that it would first appear. Troy made half a billion dollars worldwide, placing it in the #35 spot of top box office hits of all time. This is 12 places above Gladiator and 5 places above Saving Private Ryan, which are both considered successful.
Despite its financial success, Troy met mixed reactions by reviewers and movie lovers. According to Rotten Tomatoes, only 55% of the reviews are positive. Roger Ebert, who seemed to dislike what he saw as an unfaithful adaptation of the Iliad, gave it two stars out of five . Ebert claimed that Troy "sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie cliches and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computer-generated armies." David Denby , however, seemed to like it: "[It's] harsh, serious, and both exhilarating and tragic, the right tonal combination for Homer."