Troy

 

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
Owain Yeoman
Brian Cox
Sean Bean
Julie Christie
Peter O’Toole
Rose Byrne
Saffron Burrows
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Editing by Peter Honess
Studio Plan B Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time 163 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $175 million
Gross revenue $497,409,852[1]

Troy is a 2004 epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Its cast includes Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, Diane Kruger as Helen, Sean Bean as Odysseus, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, Rose Byrne as Briseis, Garrett Hedlund as Patroclus, Peter O’Toole as Priam, Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus, and Tyler Mane as Greater Ajax.

It received an Oscar nomination for its costume design.

Contents

Plot

Based on Homer‘s The Iliad, In Sparta, Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and his young brother Paris (Orlando Bloom) negotiate peace between Troy and Sparta. Paris has fallen in love with Helen (Diane Kruger), the wife of king Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), and smuggles her back to Troy with him. Infuriated, Menelaus vows revenge. Menelaus approaches his brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox), a king who has conquered every army of Greece, and now commands them. Agamemnon who has wanted to conquer Troy for years (which would give him control of the Aegean Sea), uses this as a justification to invade Troy. General Nestor (John Shrapnel) asks him to take hero warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt), to rally the troops to the cause.

Odysseus (Sean Bean), a king commanded by Agamemnon, visits Phtia to persuade Achilles to fight, and finds him training with Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), his cousin. Pondering his decision, he visits his mother Thetis (Julie Christie) for advice. She tells him she knew this day would come, before he was even born. She also tells him that if he does not go to Troy, he will live a long happy life and have children, however after he dies, his name will be lost and nobody will remember him. If he does go to Troy, he will find great glory in his battles and his name will be written into history forever, however he will die.

The Greeks sail for Troy. Achilles and the Myrmidons are the fastest rowers and land before anyone else. They kill many Trojans and desecrate the temple of Apollo. Briseis (Rose Byrne), a member of the Trojan royal family, is captured and taken as a prize to the Greeks, despite Achilles’ claim to her.

Achilles and his Myrmidons do not fight the next day because of Agamemnon’s unfair claim to Briseis. 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, but not killed. Hector intervenes and kills Menelaus. The Greeks charge the Trojan lines but are forced to fall back when they are nearly wiped out by archers on Troy’s walls.

Agamemnon gives Briseis to his men, but Achilles rescues her. He carries her back to his tent and tends her wounds. Briseis then tries to kill Achilles, but realizes that she has feelings for him and the two make love. The next day Achilles is readying his men to leave, much to Patroclus’ indignation.

The Trojans launch a surprise attack. As the Greeks seem to be on the verge of defeat, Achilles appears with the Myrmidons and joins the battle, eventually fighting against Hector. All are shocked when Hector cuts Achilles’ throat. However, Hector kneels and pulls Achilles’ helmet off revealing it was really Patroclus whom he has mortally wounded. Both armies agree to end fighting for the day, and Odysseus informs Hector who he had killed. Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by Eudorus of his cousin’s death. The Greeks had also mistaken Patroclus for Achilles, since he had put on the same armour, and moved the same: Achilles furiously vows revenge. Later that night, Achilles lights Patroclus’s funeral pyre.

The next day, Achilles approaches the gates of Troy alone and demands Hector to come out and face him. The two fight an evenly matched duel at the start, but Achilles soon takes the advantage. In the end Achilles kills Hector. He then ties the body to the back of his chariot, dragging it back to the Greek camp, leaving all the Trojans shocked. That night, King Priam (Peter O’Toole) visits the Greek army’s camp to retrieve Hector’s body. After the King makes his plea Achilles acquiesces to his request and allows him to take his son to be buried, promising him the 12 days for funerary rites. Achilles lets Priam take Briseis back as well. He later gives Eudorus one last order: to take the Myrmidons home.

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

During the twelve days while Troy mourns Hector’s death, the Greeks plan to enter the city using a hollowed-out wooden horse, devised by Odysseus, desperate to stem the slaughter of his own men at the hands of the Trojans. The Greeks leave the horse at their camp, then depart, hiding their ships in a nearby cove. Priam believes his priests that the horse is an offering to Poseidon and a gift. Assuming victory, the Trojans take the horse into the city and celebrate. A Trojan found the Greek ships hiding in the cove but is killed by the Greeks before he could tell the news. A band of Greeks come out of the horse at night, opening the gates to the city, allowing the main army to enter. The unprepared Trojans are overwhelmed and slaughtered. As the city burns, Agamemmnon and Odysseus fight their way with their army to the palace, killing Glaucus and Priam in the onslaught.

While Troy is sacked, Paris sees Aeneas together with Andromache and Helen and many others escaping Troy through a secret passage and hands him the sword of Troy, saying, “As long as it remains in the hands of a Trojan, our people have a future. Protect them Aeneas; find them a new home.”

Achilles searches desperately for Briseis, who is being threatened by Agamemnon. She kills him with a concealed knife, and is saved from his guards by Achilles. While Achilles is helping Briseis to her feet, Paris shoots Achilles in his vulnerable heel, and then several times in the torso. Briseis runs to Achilles, surprising Paris. Achilles urges Briseis to join Paris as they escape the city. Achilles watches the others flee, then dies of his wounds. The soldiers arrive to see the fallen Achilles with only a single arrow through his heel, as he had removed all the others from his chest, fulfilling the myth that Achilles was killed by a single arrow to the heel. Funeral rituals are performed for him 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

Greeks

Trojans

Production

Major sets for the city of Troy were built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003. 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.[2]

Music

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.[3] According to Yared, his score was removed due to a complaint by the screening audience that the score was too “old-fashioned”.[4]

The replacement score was written by composer James Horner in about four weeks. He utilized Tanja Tzarovska’s vocals, traditional Eastern Mediterranean music and brass instruments. Drums are conspicuous in the most dramatic scenes; most notably, in the duel between Achilles and Hector. His instrumental scenes have themes very reminiscent of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1, Gustav Holst‘s The Planets, and Benjamin Britten‘s War Requiem. The score also quotes themes from Samuel Barber‘s Adagio for Strings and Dmitri Shostakovich‘s Fifth Symphony. A suspenseful note progression introduced in Willow was played numerous times in the score, particularly in battle scenes.

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.

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

Troy: Director’s Cut was screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2007, and received a limited theatrical 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-minute extra footage (Running Time: 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 sex 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 significantly 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 one of the film editors said that when it came to deciding whether to follow Iliad, or do what was best for the film they always decided with what was best for the film.

Reaction

When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $175,000,000. This makes Troy one of the most expensive films made in modern cinema. Unadjusted for inflation, Troy is number 22 on the all time list of most expensive films and, when adjusted for inflation, it is number 8. It was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[5]

Troy screenings have earned $133 million (US$133,378,256) in the United States.[6]

Troy made more than 73%[6] of its revenues outside of the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million dollars worldwide,[6] placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time.

Troy met mixed reactions by reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an average approval rating of 55% from a base of 215 reviews,[7] while Yahoo! Movies gave it a critic rating of “B-” based on 15 reviews.[8] 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.”[9]

Box office totals

  • Budget – $175,000,000[6]
  • Marketing cost – $50,000,000
  • Opening Weekend Gross (Domestic) – $46,865,412
  • Total Domestic Grosses – $133,378,256
  • Total Overseas Grosses – $364,031,596[6]
  • Total Worldwide Grosses – $497,409,852

Accolades

2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

2005 Academy Awards

  • Nominated – Best Achievement in Costume Design — Bob Ringwood

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

  • Won – Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Brad Pitt
  • Nominated – Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Orlando Bloom
  • Nominated – Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male — Garrett Hedlund
  • Nominated – Choice Movie – Drama/Action Adventure
  • Nominated – Choice Movie Fight/Action Sequence

See also

References

  1. ^ Troy (2004). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  2. ^ “Troy – Malta Movie Map”. MaltaMovieMap.VisitMalta.com. http://maltamoviemap.visitmalta.com/index.pl/films_troy. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  3. ^ “The Score of Troy – A Mystery Unveiled: by Gabriel Yared”. TheScreamOnline.com. http://www.thescreamonline.com/film/film4-3/yared.html. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  4. ^ “Troy (Rejected Score)”. MovieMusicUK.us. http://www.moviemusicuk.us/troygycd.htm. Retrieved 2010-05-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ “Festival de Cannes: Troy”. Festival-Cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/4196887/year/2004.html. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  6. ^ a b c d e “Troy (2004)”. Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=troy.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  7. ^ “Troy Movie Reviews, Pictures”. Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/troy. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  8. ^ “Troy (2004)”. Yahoo! Movies. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808444810/info. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 14, 2004). “Troy Review”. Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5liAiTcdl. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 

Further reading

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Troy (film)
v·d·eFilms directed by Wolfgang Petersen1970s

1980s

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Television films

 
 
Das Boot (1981) · The NeverEnding Story (1984) · Enemy Mine (1985)
 
Shattered (1991) · In the Line of Fire (1993) · Outbreak (1995) · Air Force One (1997)
 
The Perfect Storm (2000) · Troy (2004) · Poseidon (2006)
 
Blechschaden (1971) · Strandgut (1972) · Anna und Totò (1972) · Jagdrevier (1973) · Nachtfrost (1973) · Smog (1973) · Van der Valk und die Reichen (1973) · Aufs Kreuz gelegt (1974) · Die Stadt im Tal (1975) · Kurzschluss (1975) · Hans im Glück (1976) · Vier gegen die Bank (1976) · Reifezeugnis (1977) · Planübung (1977) · Schwarz und weiß wie Tage und Nächte (1978)
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