15 May 2004

Beware of Greeks bearing Homeric legend...

A review of Troy from the San Francisco Gate begins thusly:

"This is not the movie for people who have read and reread the 'The Iliad' and have dreamed of the Trojan War, the clash of civilizations, the mighty armies and outsize personalities. It is more for people who want to see Brad Pitt in a tunic, some good combat scenes and a little romance."

How can you make a film of the Iliad without the gods? I have been looking forward to this film since I first heard whispers of its existence. My faith and hope were not rewarded.

However, I will say that the choice to note "inspired by" instead of "based on" before Homer's name does forgive a bit. When I saw that, I was not as angry as I had been.

I guess.

I don't want to dwell overmuch on the film. I will say, though, that I thought the character of Hector was true to the spirit portrayed by Homer. My beloved, brilliant Odysseus was, in my opinion, given the short end of the stick but since the film was focused on Achilles, I guess that was to be expected... (An aside, in the version of the Iliad I first read, it was "Achilleus." I have always preferred that spelling, never mind convention.)

After the film was over, my friend said, "You shouldn't be allowed to go to movies made from books you love." While that made me smirk, I think it is untrue. I'm not sorry I went, even if I wasn't thrilled by the film.

Heck, maybe it will lead to a few more people getting The Iliad?

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