Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: Homer (poem), David Benioff (screenplay)
Stars: Julian Glover, Brian Cox, Nathan Jones, Adoni Maropis
Runtime: 163 min
Released: 14 May 2004
Synopsis: The story takes place in the fertile, eastern lands bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and kept by the gods. Within the cradle of ancient civilization empires are built, wars fought, alliances forged, and heroes born.
Agamemnon (Brian Cox), king of Mycenae, has united most of Greece’s kingdoms under his rule and now advances his army upon the nation of Thessaly, hoping to include it in his collection of ever-growing conquests. King Triopas (Julian Glover) bargains with Agamemnon to each let one of their best fighters decide who wins the battle rather than engaging in open war. Triopas calls upon the giant Boagrius (Nathan Jones) while Agamemnon calls to Achilles, but the legendary warrior is nowhere to be found. A messenger boy (Jacob Smith) is sent to fetch him and Agamemnon curses the stubborn nature of the fiercest warrior Greece has ever seen. A half-god and blessed with incomparable strength and skill, Achilles lives to fight but he refuses to associate with Agamemnon, preferring instead to seek his own destiny and be immortalized in history. Achilles easily defeats Boagrius, sealing Agamemnon’s control over the nation, and calls out if there is anyone else worthy enough to fight him.
Meanwhile, Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and Paris (Orlando Bloom) of Troy feast in the banquet hall of King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson) as honored guests and peace ambassadors to their home nation. However, young Paris sneaks away to be with Menelaus’ beautiful wife, Helen (Diane Kruger), whom he loves dearly. He convinces her to come back with him to Troy, stowing her away on his brother’s ship. When Hector finds out he is clearly angry but it is too late to return to Sparta with Helen and seek pardon. Finding Helen gone, Menelaus vows revenge on Troy and seeks the approval of his brother, Agamemnon, who is only too happy to oblige, though Agamemnon’s decision comes mostly from his desire to sack Troy.
Odysseus (Sean Bean), king of Ithaca and under command of Agamemnon, goes to convince Achilles to accompany them in the conquest of Troy. He finds him sparring with his young cousin, Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), who is more than eager to join in the fighting. But Achilles refuses to go, despite Odysseus’ assurance that this war will go down into history. Achilles later seeks advice from his mother, the sea nymph Thetis (Julie Christie), who is gathering shells to make a new necklace for him. She tells him that if he chooses to stay home he will find a wife, raise a family, and die old and loved. If he goes to Troy, he will find his eternal glory and history will remember his name for thousands of years. However, should he go to Troy, he is doomed to die and will never return.
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