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TROY - The Movie, starring Brad Pitt

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Troy is an epic film released on May 14, 2004, concerning the Trojan War. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad, but includes material from Virgil's Aeneid and other sources, and frequently diverges from myth. The film has the following cast of actors prominent at the time of its release: Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, Diane Kruger as Helen, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, Sean Bean as Odysseus, Rose Byrne as Briseis, Garrett Hedlund as Patroclus, Peter O'Toole as Priam, Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus, and Tyler Mane as Ajax. Troy was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by David Benioff. It received an Oscar nomination for its costume design.
King Agamemnon (Brian Cox) of Mycenae is in Thessaly, Greece, with his army looking to expand territory and influence. On the battlefield, Agamemnon's soldiers prepare to engage in combat against the army under the Thessalonian king, Triopas (Julian Glover). Rather than suffer great losses, Triopas agrees to Agamemnon's proposal to settle the matter in the traditional way - through a decisive match between the best fighters of the opposing armies. Achilles (Brad Pitt) is summoned by Agamemnon, and after arriving, easily kills the Thessalonian champion Boagrius (Nathan Jones). Accepting defeat, Triopas presents Achilles with a scepter as a token for his king. But Achilles refuses, saying Agamemnon is not his king.

In Sparta, Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and his young brother Paris (Orlando Bloom) negotiate an end to the war between the outlying kingdom of Troy and Sparta. On the last day of a week-long peace festival, Paris manages to smuggle Helen (Diane Kruger), Menelaus' (Brendan Gleeson) wife, back to Troy with him. Infuriated by Helen's disappearance, Menelaus vows revenge. Meanwhile, Agamemnon (Menelaus' brother), who had for years harbored plans for conquering Troy, decides to use his brother's situation as a justification to invade Troy. He is advised by his general, Nestor (John Shrapnel), to call upon Achilles to fight for the Greeks, insuring they can rally enough troops to the cause. Agamemnon relishes the prospect of gaining complete control over the Aegean Sea by conquering Troy.

Odysseus (Sean Bean) is then sent to Phtia to convince Achilles and his Myrmidons to fight, and finds him training with Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), his cousin and student. Odysseus says they'll be sailing to Troy in three days, and that this war will never be forgotten. Achilles consults his mother, Thetis (Julie Christie), and she tells him that should he stay, he will find peace, and should he go, he will find glory, but he'll never return. Achilles decides to go to war.

The Greeks land at Troy and take control of the beach on the first day of the war. Achilles and the Myrmidons kill many Trojans and also desecrate the seaside temple of Apollo, slaying the unarmed priests that reside there. Within the temple, Achilles and Hector meet but do not fight, with Hector outnumbered but allowed to leave. Briseis (Rose Byrne), a member of the Trojan royal family who has chosen to dedicate her life to service to the gods, is captured and taken as a prize to Achilles. However, he treats her with kindness, which makes her initially cautious. They soon become lovers.

Achilles and his Myrmidons do not take part in the next day's fighting because Agamemnon had taken away Briseis, but they watch the events from a distance. With the Trojan army beneath the walls of Troy and the Greek army surrounding it, Paris challenges Menelaus to a duel to settle things. Menelaus agrees, knowing he is the better warrior. Agamemnon then decides he will attack afterward anyway, regardless of the outcome. Paris, severely outmatched, is easily defeated. Terrified of dying, he crawls back to his brother's feet. Menelaus approaches and moves to finish Paris, but Hector intervenes and kills Menelaus. A shocked and distraught Agamemnon orders his army to charge the Trojans. The Greeks are easily repelled, mainly because their attack brought them within range of the Trojan archers. At the pleas of Odysseus, who fears seeing the Greeks annihilated, Agamemnon withdraws the troops.

The Trojans launch a surprise attack on the Greek camp at dawn. As the Greeks seem to be on the verge of defeat, Achilles appears with the Myrmidons, and joins the battle. He brings courage to the Greeks, and eventually fights man-to-man against Hector. The Myrmidons are initially surprised by Achilles apparently being outmatched by Hector, and in a quick fight, having his throat cut by the Prince Hector. This energizes the Trojans and dismays the Greeks. Hector kneels and pulls Achilles' helmet off, and finds it is actually Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund) who he has killed, not Achilles. Grieved at having slain someone so young, Hector gives him a killing blow out of mercy. Both armies agree to end fighting for the day, and Odysseus informs Hector of the boy's identity. Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by the Myrmidons of his cousin's death. They had also mistaken Patroclus for Achilles, since he had put on the same armour, and moved in the same way. Later that night, Achilles leads the funeral ceremony, complete with a funeral pyre.

The next day, an enraged Achilles approaches the gates of Troy alone and demands Hector come out and face him. Hector requests a pact that the loser be given proper funeral rites by the winner, which is angrily refused by Achilles. Hector, though a great warrior in his own right, is outclassed by Achilles, who duly kills him. Tying Hector's body to the back of his chariot, Achilles callously drags it back to the Greek camp. That night, King Priam visits the Greek army's camp to retrieve Hector's body. After an emotional talk given to him by Priam (Peter O'Toole), Achilles breaks down into tears near Hector's body. He lets Priam take Hector's body back, promising him that no Greek will attack Troy for twelve days in order to give time for the proper funeral rites to be performed on the prince, also saying that Hector was the best he'd fought. Achilles lets Priam take Briseis back as well, and gives her the shell necklace Thetis made for him. He later makes amends with Eudorus, and gives him one last order: to take the Myrmidons home.

During the 12 days that Troy mourns Hector's death, the Greeks plan to enter the city using a hollowed-out wooden horse, devised by Odysseus. The Greeks leave the horse at the location of their camp, then withdraw to the beach hiding in their ships behind a nearby island. Paris warns Priam about the dangers of the horse, and says they should burn it. However, Priam neglects his warning and is blinded by the priests' talk of the horse being a "peace offering from the Greeks", in order to appease the god Poseidon for a safe passage home during their retreat. Assuming victory, the Trojans take the horse into the city and celebrate. A band of Greeks come out of the horse at night, killing the guards and opening the gates to the city, allowing the main army outside the city to enter. Troy is sacked, and King Priam is killed by Agamemnon.

Achilles frantically searches for Briseis, who is at the shrine of Apollo being threatened by Agamemnon. She kills him with a concealed knife, and is saved from Agamemnon's guards by Achilles. Paris finds Achilles, and shoots an arrow that goes straight through Achilles' ankle. Crippled, he turns to face him but is hit in the chest by several more arrows, despite fervent pleas from Briseis. The wounds are fatal, and Achilles urges Briseis to join Paris as he flees the city through a secret passage.

After a last disorganized and futile attempt by surviving Trojan soldiers to repel the invaders, the battle ends and the Greeks storm the inner palace only to find that Achilles has died just a few moments earlier. Funeral rituals are performed for him the next morning.  The rest, as they say, is history!

"Troy - The Movie" is a registered trademark of Warner Brothers, Inc.  Imagery courtesy of Warner Brothers, Inc.

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Tags: Troy, Trojan War, Brad Pitt, movies, film, Drama, War, Achilles, Homer, Iliad, Odyssey, Trojan Horse, Agamemnon, Helen of Troy, Sparta, Paris, Hector, Priam

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