Summary: Troy takes place during the year 1250 B.C. Menelaus, the King of Sparta, almost successfully makes peace with Troy when he realizes that his wife, Helen, has left with Paris, one of Troy’s princes. Menelaus is enraged and goes to his brother, Agamemnon, to unite and declare war against the Trojans. Agamemnon, seduced by the idea of more power, eagerly agrees. With the help of Achilles, the greatest warrior in the world, the Greeks sack the city of Troy in this exciting retelling of Homer’s The Iliad.
Thesis: Wolfgang Peterson employs many common film techniques, such as close ups, score, and distinct camera angles, to increase the intensity of the climax. He influences an inner turmoil within the audience, in which the audience can’t decide who is good and who is evil. As a result, the audience both roots for the Trojan soldiers and Achilles himself.
Close Up– shot of the head and shoulders; focuses on detail, expression and reaction
Wolfgang Peterson exemplifies his characters emotions by using the close-up. It truly adds depth to the scene and allows the audience to empathize with each character.
Perseus– terrified look on her face; knows that Paris is out for his own revenge of his brother’s death by Achilles’s sword; scared for Achilles’s life
Achilles– initial expression shows agonizing pain as the arrow pierces through the Achilles tendon; becomes angrier as 3 more arrows pierce his body; when he knows his death is inevitable, becomes calm and embraces his last breaths
Paris– feeling of satisfaction after crippling Achilles lower body; shoots 3 more arrows one by one; amazed that Achilles is still limping toward him; blinded by his own ambition, he keeps shooting, despite Perseus’s cries; audience knows that he is just thinking of his brother (previously had to watch as Achilles’s sword plunged into his brother’s heart)
Score– musical soundtrack; The 27 person music team, led by Jim Henrikson, did a great job with the music in the final scenes to unify the movie and create a prominent climax situation. If you notice, the music in this scene is the same music that presides during the beachfront takeover. The beginning of the song occurs then and the end of the song occurs when Achilles falls.
The music in the climax sets the audience up for a fulfilling ending. Throughout this scene, the music continues to build up, reaching a head as the arrow severs Achilles’s tendon. This represents the end of Achilles’s journey that was predicted by his mother, Paleus, in the beginning of the movie. Next, the music then softens as he spends his final moments with Perseus. The music then starts up again when Paris mentions a way out, symbolizing that there is still hope for survival of the Trojan royalty.
Camera Angles– Wolfgang Peterson uses distinct camera angles to symbolize changes in status during this scene. Mostly, the scene is shot straight ahead, level with the ground, which adds emphasis to the temporary camera angles that either increase or decrease.
High Angle– uses high angle to show increase in vulnerability/powerlessness; uses angle when Paris is about to shoot his first arrow at Achilles from a raised positions (Achilles is extremely vulnerable and unaware); also uses angle when Paris shoots his final arrow (Achilles is shot with a fourth arrow and his body can’t take anymore)
Low Angle– uses low angles to show increase in size/power/status; uses angle on Paris to show his greater power at that moment before he kills Achilles from long range; however, Paris’s expression shows that he is still in his place and still respects Achilles as an adversary
William Arnold (Seattle Post Intelligencer): “Troy is such an exhilarating piece of filmmaking that it pulls you in, sweeps you up, and works very much as its own thing.”
I agree with this quote because I believe that Troy is a model of excellence and speaks for itself. The climax is even more exciting if one watches the movie in its entirety, especially because Peterson plays with your mind. When Achilles’s mother reveals that Achilles will die, one is left with the “when?” question. Peterson takes advantage of this by showing certain camera angles and events throughout the movie where one thinks that Achilles is dead, which surprises the viewer time and time again.
Michael Wilmington (Chicago Tribune): “STUNNING. Raging excitement, visual grandeur, and dramatic intelligence.”
I agree with this quote as well because I believe Troy was very well shot and unified under a common score. The action scenes were well done and kept my adrenaline pumping. From start to finish, I remained on the edge of my seat. If you like action and Greek mythology, I strongly recommend Troy.