Troy (film)

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Troy
Troy2004Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Produced by Wolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson
Written by David Benioff
Starring Brad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Diane Kruger
Peter O'Toole
Rose Byrne
Sean Bean
Brian Cox
Julie Christie
Saffron Burrows
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Edited by Peter Honess
Production
  company
Helena Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s)
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time 162 minutes (Theatrical cut)
192 minutes (Director's cut)
Country Malta
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $175 million
$177 million (Director's cut)
Box office $497,409,852[1]

Troy is a 2004 American epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is based on Homer's Iliad which revolves from the beginning and to the end of the 10 year Trojan War. Achilles leading his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, lead by Hector's Trojan army. The ending of the film (the sacking of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad as the ending of the Iliad was based on Hector's death and funeral burial.

The film features an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Saffron Burrows, Sean Bean, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Vincent Regan, Garrett Hedlund, Tyler Mane, and Peter O'Toole. The film made it into the "Best of Warner Bros - 50 Film Collection (90th Anniversary Collection). It was also nominated for 11 awards. It won 2 at the 2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards which were: Top Box Office Film — James Horner and the 2005 Teen Choice Awards and the Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Brad Pitt. The Achilles-Hector rivalry was ranked #50 in the 50 Greatest Movie rivalries by Total Film.

Troy made more than 73% of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide, placing it temporarily in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It was the 8th highest grossing film of 2004 and currently is in the top #150 highest grossing films of all time.

Plot[edit]

Prince Hector of Troy and his brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, king of Sparta, and celebrate the end of a long and bloody war. On the same night, Paris sleeps with Menelaus' wife Helen and smuggles her on their homebound vessel. Infuriated, Menelaus travels to Mycenae wherein his elder brother Agamemnon is king and supreme commander of all the Greek forces, and asks him to go to war with him against Troy. Agamemnon agrees on the pretense of reclaiming Helen but actually only wishes to conquer Troy for prestige and the city's immense wealth. As the Greek armies are mobilized, King Nestor of Pylos convinces Agamemnon to also recruit Achilles.

Odysseus, king of Ithaca visits Phtia to persuade Achilles to fight. Achilles refuses and later seeks counsel from his mother, Thetis. She tells him that if he remains he will live a long happy life but will not be remembered. If he goes to Troy, he will find everlasting glory and renown but will die. Wanting to be remembered, Achilles chooses to go and takes his cousin Patroclus with him.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Paris brings Helen home but welcomes her as a guest. The next day the Greek army arrives. Achilles and the Myrmidons land first, taking the beach and ransacking the Temple of Apollo, capturing Hector and Paris' cousin Briseis. Hector leads Trojan reinforcements to the battle and confronts Achilles, who lets the former go because of a lack of ill will. As the Greek rulers celebrate the capture of the Trojan beach, Agamemnon angers Achilles by taking Briseis.

The next morning the Greeks march on Troy, and Paris challenges Menelaus to single combat, the winner taking Helen home to settle the conflict. Menelaus accepts, but an overconfident Agamemnon plans to attack the city regardless of the outcome. Menelaus handily defeats the inexperienced Paris but is killed by an intervening Hector. A furious Agamemnon orders his troops to attack, but are easily repelled by the Trojan forces. Ajax the Greater is slain by Hector in a vicious duel, and the Greeks rapidly retreat for fear of being wiped out. In the aftermath of the battle, Nestor and Odysseus persuade Agamemnon to make peace with Achilles (who along with the Myrmidons, refused to take part in the battle), as the Greeks are hopeless in battle without him. That night, Briseis attempts to murder Achilles but realizes she loves him and the two make love together.

Before dawn, the Trojans attack the Greek camp. Achilles leads the Myrmidons against them and fights Hector, who kills him to the surprise of all present. However, as Hector removes Achilles' helmet, it is revealed to be Patroclus and both armies agree to end fighting for the day. Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by Myrmidon Captain Eudorus of his cousin's death. An enraged Achilles strikes Eudorus and lights Patroclus's funeral pyre later that night. In Troy, Hector realizes that Achilles will seek revenge and shows his wife Andromache a secret path out of the city should it fall.

The next day, Achilles approaches the city gates alone challenging Hector to single combat. The two appear evenly matched, but Achilles eventually defeats Hector and drags his body back to the Greek camp in a gesture of spite. That night, Priam visits Achilles and begs him to return Hector's body. Moved by the king's plea, Achilles agrees and sends Briseis back as well. He promises Priam time to mourn and acknowledges Hector as having been a good man and an equal.

Maquette Trojan Horse, used in Troy, a gift from Brad Pitt to the Turkish town Çanakkale.

While Troy mourns Hector's death, Agamemnon fumes over the truce, despite the walls still being unbreachable. Realizing that Agamemnon would see all the Greeks slaughtered before abandoning his ambition, Odysseus plans to infiltrate the city by building a giant hollow wooden horse. Before the operation is launched, Achilles makes amends with Eudorus and orders him to lead the Myrmidons home while he stays behind. The Greeks seemingly depart and hide their ships in a nearby cove, leaving the horse behind. The Trojans take the horse for an offering to Poseidon for a safe voyage home, and assume victory, bringing the horse into the city. Massive celebrations ensue but that night, the Greeks within the Trojan Horse emerge and open the gates, admitting the rest of the army, which commences the Sack of Troy, destroying the city.

As the Greeks overpower the few remaining Trojan soldiers, capture the royal palace and kill Glaucus and Priam, Andromache helps Helen and many others escape through the secret passage which Hector had shown her. Paris finds a young boy called Aeneas and instructs him to lead the Trojan people. Paris then rejoins the fight and hears Briseis calling for help.

Achilles does not participate in the slaughter but searches for Briseis, who is being threatened by Agamemnon. She kills Agamemnon with a concealed knife and is saved from his guards by Achilles. Paris arrives and shoots Achilles in the heel, and several times more before Briseis manages to stay his hand. Achilles accepts his death as revenge for killing Hector, and urges Briseis to join Paris and escape from the city. Achilles removes all but the first arrow and dies of his wounds just as the soldiers arrive to see the fallen warrior with a single arrow through his heel. Funeral rituals are performed for Achilles in the ruins of Troy the next day. The film ends with a speech from Odysseus as the funeral pyre burns:

"If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say, I lived, in the time of Achilles."

In the extended edition, as Achilles is burned on his pyre, the Trojan refugees, including Helen, Andromache, Paris, Briseis and Aeneas are seen escaping into the hinterlands of Troas, hinting at the beginning of the Aeneid.

Cast[edit]

Greeks members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta)

Myrmidons

Kings and Warriors of other Greek states (e.g. Ithaca, Thessaly, etc.)

Trojans

  • Peter O'Toole as Priam, the king of Troy, father of Hector and Paris, uncle of Briseis and father-in-law of Andromache.
  • Eric Bana as Hector, the prince of Troy and the best warrior among the Trojans. He is the elder son of Priam, brother of Paris, cousin of Briseis and husband of Andromache.
  • Orlando Bloom as Paris, the prince of Troy. He is the younger son of Priam, brother of Hector, cousin of Briseis and brother-in-law of Andromache. He is the lover of Helen.
  • Saffron Burrows as Andromache, the princess of Troy and wife of Hector. She is the sister-in-law of Paris and daughter-in-law of Priam.
  • Rose Byrne as Briseis, the priestess of Apollo, niece of Priam and cousin of Hector and Paris, cousin-in-law of Andromache. She is the lover of Achilles.
  • James Cosmo as Glaucus, the commanding general of the Trojan army.
  • Frankie Fitzgerald as Aeneas, a Trojan youth. As Troy is being sacked, Paris picks him at random to take the Sword of Troy, carrying the future of the Trojans into Virgil's epic, The Aeneid.
  • Nigel Terry as Archeptolemus, the Trojan high priest and adviser of Priam.

Production[edit]

The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003.[2] Other important scenes were shot in Mellieħa, a small town in the north of Malta, and on the small island of Comino. The outer walls of Troy were built and filmed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.[3] Film production was disrupted for a period of time after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas.[4] The role of Briseis was initially offered to Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, but she refused it because she was not comfortable doing the lovemaking scenes that were included. The role eventually went to Rose Byrne.

Music[edit]

Composer Gabriel Yared originally worked on the score for Troy for over a year, having been hired by the director, Wolfgang Petersen.

Yared wrote and recorded his score and Tanja Carovska provided vocals on various portions of the music, as she later would on composer James Horner's version of the soundtrack. However, after having screened the film with an early incomplete version of the score, the reactions at test screenings were against it and in less than a day Yared was off the project without being given a chance to fix or change his music, while Warner Bros was already looking for a replacement.[5] According to Yared, his score was removed due to a complaint by the screening audience that the score was too "old-fashioned".[6]

The replacement score was written by composer James Horner in about four weeks. He used Carovska's vocals again, and also included traditional Eastern Mediterranean music and brass instruments. Drums are conspicuous in the most dramatic scenes; most notably, in the duel between Achilles and Hector. Horner also collaborated with American singer/songwriter Josh Groban and lyricist Cynthia Weil to write an original song for the film's end credits. The product of this collaboration, "Remember" was performed by Groban with additional vocals by Carovska. The song is available on the film's original soundtrack.

A commentator, Alex Ross, claims that large portions of the score were essentially plagiarized from the pieces of which they are reminiscent.[7]

Around the time of the film's release in theaters, Gabriel Yared briefly made portions of his rejected score available on his personal website, which was later removed at the request of Warner Brothers. Bootleg versions exist on the Internet. Yared's score has since gained much attention from the fans of film music. Several petitions were made requesting the release of Yared's score either on a limited edition CD or as a bonus feature or secondary audio track on the film's DVD. Those requests however, have been denied by Warner Bros.

Director's cut[edit]

Troy: Director's Cut was screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2007, and received a limited release in Germany in April 2007. Warner Home Video reportedly spent more than $1 million for the director's cut, which includes "at least 1,000 new cuts" or almost 30 minutes extra footage (with a new running time of 196 minutes). The DVD was released on September 18, 2007 in the US. The score of the film was changed dramatically, with many of the female vocals being cut. An addition to the music is the use of Danny Elfman's theme for Planet of the Apes during the pivotal fight between Hector and Achilles in front of the Gates of Troy.

Various shots were recut and extended. For instance, the love scene between Helen and Paris was reframed to include more nudity of Diane Kruger. The love scene between Achilles and Briseis is also extended. Only one scene was removed: the scene where Helen tends to the wound of Paris is taken out. The battle scenes were also extended, showing much more of Ajax's bloody rampage on the Trojans during the initial attack by the Greek Army. Perhaps most significant was the sacking of Troy, barely present in the theatrical cut, but shown fully here. Characters were given more time to develop, specifically Priam and Odysseus, the latter being given a humorous introduction scene. Lastly, bookend scenes were added: the beginning being a soldier's dog finding its dead master, and the end including a sequence where the few surviving Trojans escape to Mount Ida. In one of the commentary sequences, the film's writer, David Benioff, said that when it came to deciding whether to follow The Iliad or to do what was best for the film, they always decided with what was best for the film.

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $175,000,000. This made Troy one of the most expensive films produced in modern cinema. It was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[8]

Troy screenings have earned US$133,378,256 in the United States.[9]

Troy made more than 73%[9] of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide,[9] placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time.

Critical reception[edit]

Troy was met with mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an average approval rating of 55% based on 222 reviews,[10] while Yahoo! Movies gave it a critic rating of "B-" based on 15 reviews.[11] IMDb gave the film an average rating of 72% based on audience poll ratings.

Box office totals[edit]

  • Budget – $175,000,000[9]
  • Marketing cost – $50,000,000
  • Opening weekend gross (Domestic) – $46,865,412
  • Total domestic grosses – $133,378,256
  • Total overseas grosses – $364,031,596[9]
  • Total worldwide grosses – $497,409,852

Accolades[edit]

2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

2005 Academy Awards

2005 Japanese Academy Prize

  • Nominated – Best Foreign Film

2005 MTV Movie Awards

2005 Motion Picture Sound Editors (Golden Reel Award)

  • Nominated – Best Sound Editing in Foreign Features — Wylie Statesman, Martin Cantwell, James Boyle, Harry Barnes, Paul Conway, Alex Joseph, Matthew Grime, Steve Schwalbe, Howard Halsall, Sue Lenny, Simon Price & Nigel Stone

2005 Teen Choice Awards

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Troy (2004). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  2. ^ Flynn, Gillian (May 2004). "MEN AND MYTHS". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  3. ^ "Troy - Malta Movie Map". MaltaMovieMap.VisitMalta.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  4. ^ Bowen, Kitt (September 29, 2003). "News, Sept. 29: Arrests on Set of Brad Pitt Film, 50 Cent Buys Mike Tyson's Mansion, "Wonder Woman" Gets Screen Treatment". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Score of Troy - A Mystery Unveiled: by Gabriel Yared". TheScreamOnline.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  6. ^ "Troy (Rejected Score)". MovieMusicUK.us. Retrieved 2010-05-30. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: Das Lied von der Brad". The Rest Is Noise. 2004-05-24. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Troy". Festival-Cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Troy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  10. ^ "Troy Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  11. ^ "Troy (2004)". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]