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Review - Troy (DVD-2004)
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Troy (DVD-2004)

Warner Home Video

Reviewed by Dennis Kwiatkowski

The epic film Troy, based on Homer’s Iliad and starring Brad Pitt as the Greek warrior Achilles is now available in a 2-Disc Warner Home Video DVD. Troy met with a mixed critical reception when it was released theatrically, though it was a decent enough box-office hit in the United States and an even bigger hit overseas with worldwide grosses of $500 million. Thus, the very expensive and prestigious production gamble ultimately paid off (and probably took some of the steam out of the later-to-come Oliver Stone epic Alexander).

While Troy occasionally plays fast and loose with both history and Homer, and while there is some unevenness in the sometimes sprawling pace and mixture of styles, Troy is nevertheless a compelling viewing experience. Brad Pitt’s performance is one of the uneven factors, but when Pitt gets it right, the result is mesmerizing—Achilles personified, indeed, the god of war, Ares himself, personified (with a measure of human sensitivity thrown in now and again).

One of the film’s primary virtues is the excellent ensemble cast with strong performances by Eric Bana as Hector, Brian Cox, as Agamemnon and especially, Peter O’Toole as King Priam. Indeed, Priam’s interaction with Achilles, and the fight between Hector and Achilles make for classic moments. As for the various battles, the money spent to recreate the spectacle shows on the screen most handsomely with only the occasional CGI shot giveaway.

Extras on the second disc include three documentaries—one on filming the battle sequences, one on designing the superb sets and one on the film’s special effects. And there is even a primer on the Greek gods themselves—all of it making for satisfying viewing.

Despite its imperfections, Troy boasts an intelligent script and dramatic storytelling that elegantly and eloquently captures the causes of war with reflections that resonates all the way down to our own time. Troy makes for exciting, rewarding and worthwhile viewing on DVD.

2005 Dennis Kwiatkowski/ Celluloid Dreams

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