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YMMV / Troy

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Given that Paris is said to be a huge womaniser, is it possible he really loves Helen? Or is he just going to drop her when he gets bored, and move onto another woman who takes his fancy?
    • Did Briseis only fall for Achilles out of Stockholm Syndrome? Or was she genuinely impressed by him not being a total "dumb brute"? Or a third camp suggests that she may have decided to become his lover out of pragmatism - as Achilles was at least decent to her and therefore a better option than being gang raped by the other men. Another way to read their sex scene is that she may have expected she would be raped soon, and chose to give herself to Achilles as a way of making sure she at least had some choice in losing her virginity.
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    • The film drops the Greek Gods from the plot, but employs Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane. Achilles says that he's seen them personally. Julie Christie appears as Thetis - who was a sea goddess - and spends the entirety of her scene in the water, which seems to be a hint to her being a goddess. Achilles defaces the statue of Apollo and eventually loses his cousin, and dies just as he's about to be with the woman he loves. So the Gods very well could be manipulating events offscreen.
    • Helen nearly giving herself up to the Greeks after the first day of battles. Does she think it will help, and wants to prevent further bloodshed on her account? Or does she know it's hopeless, and just wants to be punished in some way to relieve her guilt?
  • Base-Breaking Character: Patroclus is either a Woobie who just wants to fight for his people and his death is one of the ultimate tragedies or an immature brat whose idiotic pride got a lot of innocent people killed.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • A variation. A large amount of press for the film consisted of women's magazines Squeeing over "Brad Pitt in a skirt!"
    • Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana are also on Fanservice duty for nearly three hours, both getting plenty of Shirtless Scenes and their regular clothes showing plenty of skin too.
    • And for the reverse, Diane Kruger walks around with beautiful golden Rapunzel Hair, occasionally nude (and you see much more in the extended cut) and the camera is all too happy to show off her beauty. She was immediately included on People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" list that year - at Number 44.
  • Better on DVD: The Director's Cut is widely considered to be superior. It includes more sex and violence, more Character Development (especially for Odysseus and Priam) and there's more of the actual Sacking of Troy.
  • Broken Base:
    • On whether Helen deserves sympathy or not. Those who say she doesn't point out that she started a war and gets away scot-free, while showing minimal guilt. Those who think she does deserve sympathy point to her attempt to give herself back to the Greeks, and the look between her and Hector before he goes to fight Achilles - where she is clearly sorry for what she's done. Other characters point out that Helen's elopement was merely an excuse for the Greeks to invade - and that Agamemnon outright says he only wishes to conquer Troy, regardless of Helen. It's up to the viewer whether this is Character Shilling or not.
    • There's also the reduction of the siege from ten years to a number of weeks or months. Some claim They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and wonder why they'd even adapt the story if the ten year siege was going to be shortened. Others argue that there would be no way to properly make a ten year war work in a film - and that the gist of the story is intact. They also point out that The Iliad did not actually depict all ten years either. The Iliad shows the period of Achilles in His Tent, then Hector's death and funeral. A period of few weeks, which ends up being the middle-act of the film, with the opening scene and finale borrowed from events mentioned second hand or in later epics.
  • Designated Hero: Achilles is a bit of a jerk. This is mostly accurate as he spends a good deal of the poem a self-centered asshole, and is only shaken out of his selfishness by the death of his dearest friend.
  • Designated Villain: Menelaus, arguably. He's the moral victor in his dispute with Paris, and so the film gives him a number of Kick the Dog moments (as well as having heroic characters slander him as a warmongering Blood Knight... when his very first scene has him making peace with his enemies because he's tired of war) to try and tip back the scales. Adaptational Villainy is also working against him here.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Ajax actually dies very early on in the movie, before it's even got to the one hour mark in the extended version. You wouldn't know it thanks to Tyler Mane making him such a Memetic Badass. He gets a lot of love for taking forever to die.
    • Odysseus as well of course, given that he's played by Sean Bean, in one of the roles where he's not the villain and doesn't die.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Although this is a Rated M for Manly action movie, it has a large amount of female fans. Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom all have Shirtless Scenes - Pitt especially spending the whole movie in very skimpy armour.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: On the first day of the siege, Achilles lets Hector go free saying "it's too early in the day for killing princes". He later fights Hector to the latter's death in the morning.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • With Achilles' trademark finisher resembling a certain leaping assassination technique from a certain video game series and at least three of the Greco-Roman gods comprising the First Civilization, maybe Achilles was really an Assassin.
    • The fact that this is one of the few movies where Sean Bean's character (Odysseus) doesn't die, a movie where over half the named cast members die, ranks up there as well.
    • A major plot point is Achilles getting sick of being at Agamemnon's beck and call. Which happens every week in the first season of Danball Senki.
    • Sean Bean plays Odysseus here and would later play Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, in the film adaptation of Percy Jackson.
    • Word of God is that the filmmaker didn't want Helen to appear in the film, feeling no actress could live up to the audience's expectations. He compromised by casting an unknown actress - and half the press came from journalists snarking that Diane Kruger wasn't pretty enough.
    • Diane Kruger makes things go very badly for Rose Byrne here. A couple of years later, they starred together in Wicker Park - where Byrne gets her own back. She splits up Kruger's relationship and tries to sleep with her boyfriend in her place. Furthermore Byrne's character in Troy chooses to become a virgin priestess, whereas in Wicker Park she's sleeping with two men.
  • Ho Yay: When Achilles gives his Rousing Speech, Eudoras is seen looking at him in a way that's clearly meant to show how much he respects Achilles - but ends up looking like he's gazing lovingly at a crush. Understandable, because - again - Brad Pitt in a skirt.
  • It Was His Sled: Oh, so very much. From who in the movie dies, to the Greeks succeeding in destroying Troy.
  • Love to Hate: Brian Cox chews the scenery and makes Agamemnon such a charismatic villain that he's one of the favourite characters in the movie.
  • Memetic Badass: Achilles. "Who would win? Achilles or...?" (Leonidas/Maximus/Superman/Chuck Norris...) Experts have even pronounced him "Str8 gangsta", unusually for the time period. Beowulf (2007) fans debate at length: "Achilles is kinda cheating with the heel thing..." And the answer is: Achilles.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Practically every Greek soldier, save Achilles and Odysseus, crosses it when they sack Troy in the Director's Cut.
    • If Agamemnon hadn't already crossed it, "I gave her to the men!" made him sail over it like he was launched from a cannon.
  • Narm:
    • Brad Pitt's accent seems a likely place. This is primarily for the sake of balance but the film does have a kind of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves silliness to it.
    • The film goes to great, almost absurd lengths to assure the audience that Achilles is straight and that his cousin and surrogate little brother figure Patroclus is also straight.
    • Patroclus's 'anguished' rant about why they should stay in the war. Mostly because Garrett Hedlund is the only one in the cast Not Even Bothering with the Accent and the resulting speech sounds ridiculous with his Minnesota accent.
    • Achilles stands outside Troy and screams "HECTOR!" at the top of his lungs over and over for about five straight minutes, while Hector inside the city gradually says his goodbyes to his father, brother, wife, fellow soldiers, etc, all while the audience can hear Achilles still yelling outside the walls. It's a wonder Achilles hadn't lost his voice by the time Hector finally emerged for their duel. To be fair, this part is accurate to the myth.
    • In the extended cut, there's the hilariously over the top behaviour at the funerals after the first battle. The One-Woman Wail plays as several widows are dramatically Milking the Giant Cow.
    • Ajax's Badass Boast to the Trojans comes across as unintentionally hilarious, as they're all too busy fighting for their lives to hear him.
    • Agamemnon's war cry after watching the death of his brother, Menelaus, is hilarious.
  • Narm Charm: Achilles vs. Hector is clearly very heavily choreographed that it looks more like a dance in places than a fight. But is it still a kickass fight scene? Absolutely.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Sack of Troy, especially in the Director's Cut.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Julie Christie appears in just one scene as Thetis, and yet manages to be very memorable. It helps that Thetis is the only deity to appear in the film, and it's left open whether or not she actually is onenote 
    • Nestor has very little screen time, with only one big dialogue scene, and yet John Shrapnel is very well remembered. Ditto for Julian Glover as Triopas.
  • The Scrappy: Paris is not well liked by fans due to starting the whole war to begin with, killing Achilles in the end, and getting away with it all. Even Orlando Bloom didn't think too highly of the character, calling him a cowardly wimp. Granted, this is accurate to legend... not that it stops the movie from trying to salvage his character somehow.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Achilles vs Hector seems to be the one thing everyone remembers from this movie.
    • Achilles and his loyal Myrmidons Storming the Beaches is also particularly noteworthy.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Generally felt to be one of the weaker entries during the early 2000s wave of big budget fantasy costume epics, but generally works better when simply taken as a big summer action film than as an adaptation of its source material.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Achilles was planning to sail home and live a new life with Briseis. Then Patroclus decides to impersonate Achilles and fight as him. Hector killing him sparks Achilles into fighting Hector to the death. Achilles later dies during the fall of Troy. While the wooden horse thing may have happened anyway, Patroclus' actions led to his cousin being killed, and Hector's child being left fatherless. All because of Honor Before Reason.
    • The film expects us to empathize with Paris at least to an extent, (he is admittedly a much more mature person by the end of the film instead of the petulant child he was at the start of it) but the whole Trojan War being somewhat his fault, (he gave Agamemnon the pretext he needed to launch an invasion) his extremely petty and infantile reasons for doing so, (which involve stealing another man’s wife, albeit a trophy wife who bore no love for him, which is especially bad when you consider, as a handsome and charming young prince of Troy, he can presumably have just about any woman he wants) and his Dirty Coward behavior, both in the duel with Menelaus (he makes a big deal about how he’s going to settle it just between the two of them, only to pussy out and beg his brother to save him when he begins to lose after he explicitly said that he wouldn’t do that, leading to the truce being broken and more bloodshed on both sides) and his treacherous killing of Achilles (shooting him with an arrow whilst his backed turned and he’s standing literally right next to Paris’s own cousin) in revenge for his killing of Hector, (which you can of course easily argue is just as much Paris’s fault, perhaps even more so) plus the fact that he apparently gets to survive completely unscathed despite all the ruined lives he is partially responsible for by the end of the film, make him very hard to sympathize with.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: With so many interesting characters such as Hector, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Briseis and the numerous One Scene Wonders, it's shocking that Helen is quite bland. Despite being the catalyst for the war in the first place, she disappears into the background in the second act. This does make sense when you consider the original vision to have her as an offscreen character - and she only ended up being featured due to Executive Meddling. So in the finished film she's pretty much a Living Prop and Ms. Fanservice - with the wit and charisma she had in mythology going to Briseis.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Brad Pitt as Achilles was quite a stretch among audiences. Garrett Hedlund as Patroclus is a close second.
  • The Woobie:
    • Andromache who must watch as her husband is killed and their baby left fatherless. Things don't end well for her in the original mythology either.
    • Despite the mess she causes, Helen is still fully aware of everyone she's condemned to death. She even tries to give herself up to the Greeks, despite knowing it will do nothing, all because of her guilt. What's more is that she was trapped in an unhappy marriage since her teenage years. Paris was the one thing that brought her happiness, and because of it a war got started.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: As seen above, this film and its qualities are a matter of great debate. What is not, however, even among trained Classicists, is the quality of Peter O'Toole in his turn as Priam during his scene in Achilles' tent. That is the original Iliad, with all of Priam's pain and loss, realised.


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