Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Troy and Chivalry



I saw Troy on Sunday. Good stuff. Brad Pitt did truly classic work as the wrathful, sulky, yet heroic Achilles, and poor Briseis finally got her day in the sun along with the ever-popular Patroclus. Eric Bana as Hector did what I knew he could (he needs to play more heroes!). Orlando Bloom as Paris made the character simultaneously the selfish, cowardly little jerk we think him and somebody who could genuinely be lovable to Helen and his family. Sean Bean was Odysseus.

I will admit to being a bit peeved about Agamemnon being portrayed as Prince John (and Menelaos' transformation into the Sheriff of Nottingham). Also, Hollywood apparently decided that if good guys had to die, so did bad guys. And not on their way home, either. But I didn't really care. Even Scenery-Chompin' Agamemnon! didn't actually hurt the movie. The classic scenes were there and had all the old Homeric power. When Priam came to beg Hector's body from Achilles, the theater was dead silent and I don't think there was a dry eye.

"Tomorrow morning you will still be the enemy."

"I am the enemy tonight. But you can give the enemy respect."


Very topical, of course, and rightly so. (There is a reason why the story of the Trojan War was one of the most popular legends of the Middle Ages. Hector was even listed among the Nine Worthies of chivalry. Also, be sure to scroll down to the various versions of the Nine Female Worthies.

When you go to see Troy, don't watch the credits. I know I always say "watch the credits", but not in this case. The credits song is dorkily inappropriate to the silent, subdued mood of katharsis, so feel free to leave. When the DVD comes out, you can hit the 'mute' button and see the credits that way.

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