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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Iliad --> "TROY"

the best thing they did in that movie was to use Hector's epithet, "tamer of horses". I actually got a little catch in my throat when I heard that.

Otherwise, I'd appraise the movie "TROY" as about 50% Iliad material, and about 50% solid Hollywood screenwriting bullshit. It's nice how they planted Aeneas and his escape so as to imply the start of the Aeneid.

For the Fair Enough crowd: they had to overcome some MAJOR pacing issues to make this a screenplay - and make a LOT of difficult choices. I think it's a good movie.

But Achilles was not some kind of intractable anarchist. He fought, or didn't fight, for the same stodgy and awkward reasons of satisfaction of honour as the rest of that lot. And just about everybody is characterized in the Iliad as being pious (sacrificing stuff every day, holding funeral games for EVERY dead hero etc. They didn't take the supernatural lightly). And I thought it was a shame they didn't do more with Ajax. He helped defend the ships at one point. And later he ran amok from grief in a flock of sheep and then killed himself for the dishonour by running onto his sword.

Another cool thing they left out was Achilles' new armour (!??!!!!). After the death of Patroclus, Achilles' original armour was looted and he needed more for payback. So his mother the sea-nymph begged Hephaestus to create armour for Achilles. The result was possibly the most amazingly detailed description of ornate armour in ancient literature. Come on, put Brad Pitt in that. Little more consideration... ;P

Agamemnon went home and was killed there.

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