Troy (film)

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Troy
Troy2004Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Produced by Wolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson
Screenplay by David Benioff
Based on Iliad
by Homer
Starring Brad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Diane Kruger
Brian Cox
Sean Bean
Saffron Burrows
Brendan Gleeson
Peter O'Toole
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Edited by Peter Honess
Production
company
Helena Productions
Plan B Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time
162 minutes
196 minutes (Director's cut)
Country Malta
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $175 million
$177 million (Director's cut)
Box office $497.4 million[1]

Troy is a 2004 American epic adventure war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. The film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom. It is loosely based[2] on Homer's Iliad, though the film narrates the entire story of the decade-long Trojan War - condensed into little more than a couple of weeks - rather than just the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in the ninth year. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, defended by Hector's Trojan army. The end of the film (the sacking of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad, but rather from Virgil's Aeneid as the Iliad concludes with Hector's death and funeral.

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

Plot[edit]

The troops of King Agamemnon of Mycenae are ready to fight against the troops of Triopas of Thessaly, a battle only avoided when the great warrior Achilles defeats Thessaly's champion in single combat. Meanwhile, Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, King of Sparta. Paris, however, is having a secret love affair with Menelaus' wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their homebound vessel, enraging Hector. Upon learning of this, Menelaus meets with Agamemnon, his elder brother, and asks his help in taking Troy. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for a long time, agrees, since it will give him control of the Aegean Sea. On King Nestor's advice, Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca, persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon, initially refuses, but eventually decides to go after his mother, Thetis, tells him that though he will die, he will be forever remembered.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris bring Helen, but welcomes her as a guest and decides against sending her home, since Paris will likely follow her and be killed, choosing instead to meet the Greeks in open battle. The Greeks arrive shortly after and take the Trojan beach, mostly thanks to Achilles and his Myrmidons, among them his cousin Patroclus, who sack the temple of Apollo but allow Hector and the surviving Trojans to return to the city. Achilles claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a war trophy, but is angered when Agamemnon spitefully takes her from him and decides that he will not aid Agamemnon when they lay siege to Troy.

The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy. During a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen's hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris and almost kills him, but is himself killed by Hector. In the ensuing battle, most of Agamemnon's forces fall to Troy's archers and Hector kills Ajax. On Odysseus' insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. In order to keep their spirits up, he gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement. Achilles saves her, however, and the two fall in love. Achilles decides that the war is a lost cause, resolving to leave Troy in the morning.

Despite Hector's advice otherwise, Priam instructs him to retake the Trojan beach in the night and force the Greeks home. The attack brings the Greeks together and the Myrmidons enter the battle. Hector personally duels a man he believes to be Achilles and cuts his throat, only to discover it was actually Patroclus. Devastated, the armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Achilles is informed of his cousin's death and vows revenge. Knowing of the coming retribution, Hector leads his wife, Andromache, to a secret tunnel beneath Troy and instructs her to take their child and any survivors she can out of the city should he die and the city fall.

The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and demands Hector come out. The two fight evenly for a while until Achilles wears Hector down and kills him, dragging his corpse back to the Trojan beach, straining his relationship with Briseis. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and meets with Achilles, imploring him to let him take Hector's body back to Troy for a proper funeral. Ashamed of his actions, Achilles agrees and allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a truce of twelve days so that Hector's funeral rites may be held in peace. He also tells his men to return home without him.

Agamemnon declares that he will take Troy no matter what. Concerned that Agamemnon may lead them to destruction, Odysseus concocts a plan to get inside the city by having the Greeks build a gigantic wooden horse from their boat parts and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove to make it seem as if they have left. Priam orders the horse brought inside the city as a gift from the Gods, over Paris' objections. A Trojan scout finds the hidden ships in the cove but is killed by the Greek archers before he can alert the city. That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen are getting the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Glaucus is killed by Odysseus. Agamemnon kills Priam, and then Agamemnon finds Briseis and taunts her, and she kills him. Achilles fights his way through the city and finds Briseis, but is shot through the heel by Paris seeking revenge for the death of his brother, which makes him vulnerable. Paris puts several more arrows into Achilles' chest until he finally collapses. With his dying breaths, Achilles implores Briseis to leave the city with Paris. They escape Troy before the Greeks find Achilles' body. In the aftermath, with Troy finally taken, funerals are held for the slain and Odysseus personally cremates Achilles as the surviving Trojans head to Mount Ida.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003.[3] 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.[4] Film production was disrupted for a period after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas.[5] 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.

The soundtrack for the film was released on May 11, 2004 through Reprise Records.

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, depicting the soldiers raping women and murdering babies. 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.[6]

Troy screenings have earned US$133,378,256 in the United States.[7]

Troy made more than 73%[7] of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide,[7] temporarily placing it 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.

Critical reception[edit]

Troy was met with mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 54%, based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9]

Box office totals[edit]

  • Budget – $175,000,000[7]
  • Marketing cost – $50,000,000
  • Opening weekend gross (Domestic) – $46,865,412
  • Total domestic grosses – $133,378,256
  • Total overseas grosses – $364,031,596[7]
  • 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

2004 Teen Choice Awards

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Troy (2004). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  2. ^ Haase, Christine (2007). When Heimat Meets Hollywood: German Filmmakers and America, 1985-2005. Camden House. p. 90. ISBN 1571132791. 
  3. ^ Flynn, Gillian (May 2004). "MEN AND MYTHS". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  4. ^ "Troy - Malta Movie Map". MaltaMovieMap.VisitMalta.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  5. ^ 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. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Troy". Festival-Cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Troy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  8. ^ "Troy Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  9. ^ "Troy". Metacritic. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Petersen, Daniel (2006). Troja: Embedded im Troianischen Krieg (Troy: Embedded in the Trojan War). HörGut! Verlag. ISBN 3-938230-99-1.
  • Winkler, Martin M. (2006). Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-3183-7.
  • Proch, Celina/Kleu, Michael (2013). Models of Maculinities in Troy: Achilles, Hector and Their Female Partners, in: A.-B. Renger/J. Solomon (edd.): Ancient Worlds in Film and Television. Gender and Politics, Brill, pp. 175–193, ISBN 9789004183209.

External links[edit]