Troy (film)

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Troy
Troy2004Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Produced byWolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson
Written byDavid Benioff
StarringBrad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Diane Kruger
Peter O'Toole
Rose Byrne
Sean Bean
Brian Cox
Julie Christie
Saffron Burrows
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyRoger Pratt
Editing byPeter Honess
StudioPlan B Entertainment
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time162 minutes (Theatrical cut)
192 minutes (Director's cut)
CountryMalta
United Kingdom
United States / Mexico
LanguageEnglish
Budget$175 million
$177 million (Director's cut)
Box office$497,409,852[1]
 
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Troy
Troy2004Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Produced byWolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson
Written byDavid Benioff
StarringBrad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Diane Kruger
Peter O'Toole
Rose Byrne
Sean Bean
Brian Cox
Julie Christie
Saffron Burrows
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyRoger Pratt
Editing byPeter Honess
StudioPlan B Entertainment
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time162 minutes (Theatrical cut)
192 minutes (Director's cut)
CountryMalta
United Kingdom
United States / Mexico
LanguageEnglish
Budget$175 million
$177 million (Director's cut)
Box office$497,409,852[1]

Troy is a 2004 British-Maltese epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen and loosely based on Homer's Iliad. It 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 was nominated for 11 awards, winning 2: 2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Won – Top Box Office Film — James Horner and the 2005 Teen Choice Awards Won – Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Brad Pitt. The Achilles-Hector rivalry was ranked #50 in the 50 Greatest Movie rivalries by Total Film.

Plot[edit]

At the beginning of the film, Prince Hector and his young brother Paris have negotiated a peace between Troy and Sparta. Paris has fallen in love with Helen, the wife of king Menelaus, and smuggles her to Troy. Infuriated, Menelaus vows revenge. Menelaus approaches his brother Agamemnon, a king of Mycenae who has conquered every army of Greece, and now commands them. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for years, uses this as a justification to invade Troy. General Nestor asks him to take the legendary warrior Achilles.

Odysseus, king of Ithaca commanded by Agamemnon, visits Phtia to persuade Achilles to fight, and finds him training with Patroclus, his cousin. Unsure of whether to go, Achilles visits his mother Thetis for advice. She tells him that should he stay he will live a long happy life but will not be remembered. If he goes he will find great glory and be remembered but will not return. Wanting to be remembered, he decides to go.

The Greeks sail for Troy. Achilles and the Myrmidons land before anyone else, taking the beach single handedly and desecrate the temple of Apollo. Briseis, a member of the Trojan royal family, is captured and taken as a prize to the Greeks, despite Achilles claiming her as a prize himself. Angered, Achilles refuses to fight.

With Greeks surrounding Troy, Paris challenges Menelaus to a duel to settle things. Menelaus agrees; however, Agamemnon plans on attacking the city regardless of the outcome. Paris is easily defeated, and wounded. Hector intervenes and kills Menelaus. The Greeks attack, but are forced to retreat due to the archers on the walls; and Ajax is slain by Hector during the fighting.

Briseis is tormented by Agememnon's men and saved by Achilles when they try to rape her. In his tent, Briseis tries to kill Achilles but realizes that she has feelings for him. The next day, Achilles readies his men to leave, much to Patroclus's indignation.

That night, the Trojans launch a surprise offensive against the Greek encampment. As the Greeks seem to be on the verge of defeat, Achilles appears with the Myrmidons and joins the battle. The Greeks rally and fight harder, but all are shocked when Hector deals Achilles a mortal blow. Hector removes his foe's helmet, revealing him to be Patroclus. Hector finishes him mercifully and both armies agree to end fighting for the day. Before he leaves, Odysseus informs Hector that it was Achilles's cousin whom he had killed. Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by Eudorus of his cousin's death. Wearing Achilles's armor, Patroclus had fooled them all. Furious, Achilles attacks Eudorus and hurts Briseis. Later that night, Achilles lights Patroclus's funeral pyre. Hector realizes that Achilles will seek revenge for the death of his cousin, and begins making preparations to save his loved ones. He leads Andromache to a secret path out of the city, telling her to use it if the city falls.

The next day, Achilles approaches the gates of Troy alone and challenges Hector. After saying his goodbyes to his family and friends, Hector goes out through the great city gates and confronts Achilles. The two appear evenly matched, but Hector begins to tire against Achilles's relentless assault. Achilles slays Hector, then ties his body to the back of his chariot, and drags it back to the Greek ships, shocking the Trojans. That night, King Priam (Peter O'Toole) visits the Greek army's camp to convince Achilles to let him retrieve Hector's body. Moved by the king's plea, Achilles agrees, allowing Priam to take his son to be buried. Overcome by guilt, Achilles breaks down and weeps while preparing Hector's body. He gives Priam his word that no Greek will attack Troy for 12 days while the Trojans mourn. Achilles lets Priam take Briseis back as well. He later apologizes to Eudorus for harming him, and tells him to take the Myrmidons home.

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

During the truce, Agamemnon fumes at the loss of an opportunity to attack while the Trojans are vulnerable, despite his generals' reminders that they still do not have a way to breach the city's walls. Realizing that the mad king would see all of his own men slaughtered before he gives up his ambition, Odysseus plans to infiltrate the city by building a huge hollow wooden horse and hiding inside it with a force of his soldiers. The other Greeks leave the horse at their camp and then depart, hiding their ships in a nearby cove. Priam trusts his priests when they tell him that the horse is an offering to Poseidon and a gift, despite the misgivings of Paris and Glaucus. Assuming victory, the Trojans take the horse into the city and celebrate. A Trojan scout finds the Greek ships hiding in the cove, but is killed by their archers before he can take the news back to Troy. The band of Greeks led by Achilles and Odysseus come out of the horse at night, and start to kill Trojan guards; then they unbar and open the gates to the city, allowing the main Greek army to enter. The Greeks commence the Sack of Troy, massacring the inhabitants, toppling statues, and looting and setting fire to buildings. The Trojan army attempts to defend the royal palace, but fails and the Greeks storm in.

While Troy burns, Andromache helps Helen and many others escape from the city through the secret passage which Hector had shown her. Paris hands Aeneas the Sword of Troy, repeating his father's words that the Trojans will have a future as long as the sword is in Trojan hands. After helping the survivors to escape, he heads back into the city to join the defense, but abandons the fight after hearing Briseis calling him. Odysseus kills Glaucus, and Agamemnon kills Priam.

Achilles searches for Briseis, who is being threatened by Agamemnon. She kills Agamemnon with a concealed knife and is saved from his guards by Achilles. While Achilles is helping Briseis to her feet, Paris draws his bow and shoots Achilles several times, the first arrow piercing his heel, before Briseis manages to stay his hand. Achilles urges Briseis to join Paris and escape from the city. Dying, Achilles removes all but the first arrow, but gradually succumbs to his wounds, just as the soldiers arrive to see him die with only the single fatal 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: "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."

Cast[edit]

Greeks members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta)

Myrmidons

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

Trojans

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 of the lovemaking scenes she was not comfortable doing. 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 Tzarovska. 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 met mixed reactions by reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an average approval rating of 55% from a base of 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 71% base on audience poll ratings. Roger Ebert, who disliked what he saw as an unfaithful adaptation of the Iliad, gave it two stars out of four. Ebert claimed that Troy "sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie clichés and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computer-generated armies."[12]

Box office totals[edit]

Accolades[edit]

2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

2005 Academy Awards

2005 Japanese Academy Prize

2005 MTV Movie Awards

2005 Motion Picture Sound Editors (Golden Reel Award)

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. 
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 14, 2004). "Troy Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]