Helen of Troy
- TV Mini Series
- 2h 55min
The abduction of beautiful Helen, wife of Spartan King Menelaus, by Paris of Troy triggers a long war.The abduction of beautiful Helen, wife of Spartan King Menelaus, by Paris of Troy triggers a long war.The abduction of beautiful Helen, wife of Spartan King Menelaus, by Paris of Troy triggers a long war.
The Iliad written by Homer, from which this film was based on, talks about the 'greatest war story ever told': the infamous 'Trojan War.' This legendary epic began with the elopement of Helen, the fairest woman in the land, and Troy's cursed Prince Paris. Menelaus, her husband, mad with jealousy and broken pride, allied with his brother, Agamemnon, to wage a war against Troy. They put together a great army consisting of the greatest and bravest warriors of their land, Greece. When they arrived at Troy, a dispute rose between Agamemnon and Achilles because of their women prizes, Chryseis and Briseis. This resulted to Achilles' refusal to participate in the war for nine years. During that time, victory for each country wavered as the gods and goddesses in Olympus helped their favorite side. When Achilles decides to fight at last, it is in revenge for his best companion, Patroclus who was killed by Hector. He slew Hector and dragged his body to his camp. Despite Zeus' disagreement, Hector died because he was fated to do so. Odysseus came up with the idea of the Wooden Horse. He planned to get inside the gates of Troy so they could finally attack. The Trojans brought in the horse and when night fell, the Greeks attacked the Trojans, burnt their houses, killed their children and took their women as prizes.
The characters portrayed in the movie were fashioned in such a way that they appeared to be real and complex human beings. They gave in to their desires and to their human weaknesses such as pride, jealousy and anger but they also fought for justice, honor and love. Therefore you can easily sympathize and understand their actions and decisions since we all have the same human flaws and experiences. Most of the characters in 'Helen of Troy' were very much true to the original text in the Iliad. However, some key roles were fabricated to make the audience sympathize and admire characters like Paris, Helen and Menelaus as opposed to their selfish and arrogant personalities in the Iliad. They acted very well and very convincing such that they become distinct from the other characters in the story. Each person was unique to the other.
The script of the movie was true to the text to some extent. The beginning of 'Helen of Troy' started with the judgment of Paris in Mount Ida, which first introduced the prince to Helen. He was banished from Troy to the mountain as an infant because of Cassandra's prophecy that he will cause the end of their country. He finds out that he is a prince of Troy when he defeats Hector in a game and is finally accepted into the family despite his sister's constant protests. During her sister's wedding, Helen was abducted by Theseus and was brought to his country. They stayed together for a few years and Helen started falling in love with him until Pollux came to save her and was killed in the process. Theseus also died and Helen was brought back to Sparta where her father, Tyndareus, gave her away to the soldiers. The soldiers couldn't deny her beauty but decided to choose the husband by tossing rings. The one closest to the jar was Menelaus' and therefore, they married. Once, Paris went to Sparta to make peace with the city but when he sees Helen, they fall in love. They elope and when Menelaus found out about this, he associated with his brother, Agamemnon. Upon Reaching Troy, Menelaus first decides to talk to Priam, the country's king. Priam refuses to give Helen back and that's where the war began.
Overall, the movie, 'Helen of Troy', has been loyal to the original text in the Iliad except in some aspects. They both portray roughly the same roles and personalities of the characters. Although love was not a plausible theme in Homer's text as shown in the movie and the gods' influencing the waves of war weren't concretely depicted in the film, other themes like pride and honor coincided in both. The changes in the script didn't ruin the outcome of the movie. They just served as a form of exaggeration to further establish the uniqueness of the characters. The Iliad is classic, and it should be remembered this way.
- Aug 9, 2004