Loosely Based

Loosely-based upon the Iliad of Homer. I watched Troy last night and it was very entertaining, holding in common some of the events and many of the characters of Homer’s epic story. That’s where it stopped though. Hollywood had its way and we lost both of history’s great Kings to the screenplay, Menelaus and Agamemnon, as well the Trojan King, Priam. We did have a wooden horse though and Brad Pitt, as Achilles, put in a good performance as the tortured psychotic hero before dying valiantly at the sack of Troy over the body of King Agamemnon, who Homer had stabbed in his bath back home in Greece but why spoil a good ending with Paris and the Beautiful Helen fleeing to live happily ever after.

I wonder if the film industry a thousand years from now will re-write the Second World War to have Churchill in a love affair with Eva Braun?

Troy follows the classic ‘All for Love’ formula, except that while Homer had the lovely Helen and Achilles’ warrior boyfriend, Patrocolus as the gay love interest, modern political correctness had the latter as good mate, which should see them protesting in the streets of San Francisco.

So, Helen of Troy, Anthony and Cleopatra or Captain Corelli, the message is the same. A passionate love affair can land you in serious trouble but as Shakespeare writes, ‘Tis a sickness and it’s cure together’ and the rational mind flies out of the window and before you know it, a thousand heavily armed Greek ships hove into view carrying an angry husband, bent on revenge with them.

One final point though. The special effects are now so good that the line between the audience watching the gladiatorial games in the arena two thousand years ago and mortal combat between Achilles and Hector in the comfort of a cinema seat, is very thin. The difference of course is that in the films the actors don’t really die but perhaps if they did, the audience might still be happily munching popcorn in the stalls, drawn to the primeval thrill of watching two men fight to the death?


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