AT THE MOVIES WITH KASEY BUTCHER

War and love—two topics drastically different. Yet, they somehow find themselves frequently paired together. Out of stories about war arise stories of incredible love; love of country, love of one’s fellow soldier, love of family, et cetera. Troy depicts a war fought for all of the above.

The war begins when Paris, Prince of Troy (Orlando Bloom) and Helen of Sparta (Diane Kruger) fall in love and Helen decides to run away with Paris back to Troy. Helen’s husband, King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), is enraged by this and enlists his brother, King Agamemnon (Brian Cox), to help him get his revenge, not only on Paris, but also on all of Troy. Agamemnon is eager to help his brother as he as been wishing to conquer the undefeated kingdom of Troy for years. Paris is aware of the fate that he will meet by taking Helen with him; so he enlists his brother, Hector (Eric Bana) to help him defend himself and Troy. Although he thinks his brother acted thoughtlessly, Hector agrees to fight out of love for his younger sibling and out of love for the lives of his countrymen, wishing to protect them from foreign rule.

Agamemnon is able to get the greatest fighter on earth, Achilles (Brad Pitt) to battle on his side. Achilles is headstrong and fights for the simple pleasure of fighting. He does not fight for any king, but for his own glory. This is how he is persuaded to join the war. He is told by his friend, King Odysseus (Sean Bean), that if he goes to Troy, his name will be remembered forever. Achilles, a man always at war, internally and externally, only finds peace when he falls in love with Briseis (Rose Byrne), the cousin of Paris and Hector.

The plot of the movie is based upon Homer’s Iliad and follows the Trojan War from the time Helen runs off with Paris up through the results of the infamous Trojan horse. It tells a story, however, that is much less about war than it is about the reasons that people fight and the relationships men have with the people they love. The writing is extremely interesting and well done.

The characters are also interesting. Each has his or her own myriad of complexities. They feel like real people and have multiple dimensions. The most complex character may be Achilles. One moment I found myself hating him and the next I found myself respecting him. He swings from a savage killing machine to an honorable, loving man and the conflict between the two sides is portrayed very well. Pitt does a beautiful job. All the actors did a magnificent job. Kruger depicts the vulnerability and guilt felt by Helen flawlessly. Bana brings amazing dignity and strength to the character of Hector. I was incredibly pleased by the way the writers developed the characters and the way the actors portrayed them.

I was sure that the special effects and battle scenes would dominate this movie. I was very wrong. This movie is about the people involved, not the computers. The plot focuses so much more on the internal conflicts and relationships than on the actual war. While the special effects are amazing, they appropriately blend into the movie instead of being the main focus.

Troy is a spectacular and intriguing movie that I would definitely recommend.

The Waynedale News Staff

Kasey Butcher

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