The film Troy is based around the Ancient writer Homer’s epic poem The Iliad, written around the 8th Century BC, in which the well-known known heroes Achilles, Hector and Paris wage war against each other for the sake of honour, land and the hand of Helen. Helen of Troy is one of the most well-known women in literature and culture, the woman whose face is responsible for launching a thousand ships. It is for the beauty of this woman for which most argue the Trojan War began, and so is a key character in the film played by Diane Kruger. Although the roots of both film and poem are based in mythology, there is some evidence to show that the heroes and the war itself which we see fight out on screen did in fact take place in reality. The film begins in ancient Sparta, Greece where we meet the romantic, impulsive Paris (a Trojan prince) and the beautiful Helen at the beginning of their dangerous love affair. The threatened lovers initially mask the truth from Helen’s powerful and jealous husband Menelaus, but unfortunately once Helen runs away to troy it is clear that conflict cannot be avoided for long. This, in a nut shell, is the essential parts to the plot.
The Trojan War was said to have been sparked by the fight for Helen, after she left Menelaus for Paris, the result of a life-changing decision to never part. After discovering Helen’s disappearance, Menelaus pays a visit to his powerful brother Agamemnon asking for his help in getting Helen, and his pride, back. Agamemnon does what any good older brother would do and declares war on Troy, so beginning the ten year long war (or 2.5 hour long film) in which we see hundreds of ‘soldiers’ die for the sake of one man’s wife, a sentiment expressed often in both the poem and the film. Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana star in the film, along with many other well-known faces and exhibit a range of skills in sword work and horsemanship, making the film as historically accurate as they possibly can to the period in history. Pitt plays the infamous hero Achilles, whose talent for sword fighting is legend in all the myths and legends about him. However as soon as Achilles arrives in Troy to fight the Trojans he meets and falls in love with the Trojan Princess Briseis, taken prisoner by the Greeks, putting in jeopardy his loyalties to the Greek side. Troy is one of my favourite films, and although some might find it a bit violent (with it being certificate 15) it is also a film full of romance, danger and is bound to keep you on the edge of your seat as you see the war unfold. Unfortunately we all more or less know how the war ends, with the famous Trojan horse playing a key role towards the end of the film. For those who don’t know much about the Trojan War, or the famous horse, I will not spoil the ending for you. I would definitely recommend this film for those who are looking for something to watch which not only has a star studded cast, but also a brilliant story line which stays as historically accurate to the times as a film can be, even if it is not always true to the original poem written by Homer.