Thursday, May 13, 2004
By Susan Thea Posnock
"Immortality, take it, it's yours!� *pause* And dude,
check out those gnarly waves!"
Alright, perhaps that isn't fair. I mean, Brad Pitt is trying to be serious; to be the great warrior. For the most part, he succeeds. But well, he's just so--shiny.
He stars as uber-warrior Achilles in Troy, the first major summer cheese-buster. It's a film about love and war. More specifically, it's about hot men fighting in skirts, with finally coifed hair. That's right, it's an important film.
If ever they could give an Oscar for SMF (Sexy Male Factor), Troy would dominate. The battle scenes are finally crafted, and the hand-to-hand moments spectacular. There's romance, but the climactic sex scene isn't between a man and a woman. It is the showdown between Achilles and Hector. Watch as they lovingly put on their armor in preparation, the camera lingering on their manly beauty. See as they bound through the air, shields and swords in a brutally elegant dance, muscles tensing, blonde and brown tresses flowing.(Whew, a bit breathless just thinking about it.)
Pitt and Eric Bana as Hector are testosterone unleashed, but this film has man-candy for everyone. Yes, if you prefer your men a little more "pretty" there's Orlando Bloom as Paris.
Troy is a great technical achievement, but outside of Peter O'Toole, I don't see it getting much real Oscar love. Pitt is
fine in the role of Achilles, but--and maybe this is just the dilemma for any huge star--I never felt I was watching Achilles, I was watching a very buff, glistening BRAD PITT as Achilles. Not that there's anything wrong with that. O'Toole is a moving,convincing Priam, while Bana is to me, the real hero of the film. I have to wonder what would have been if he and Pitt had reversed roles. I can't decide if Hector is the more interesting character, or if he's simply more interestingly played. Its official: Bana has arrived. A year later than expected, but he's here. (Oh, and if he's interested, I'm here too *wink*.) Yes, Pitt looks godlike, but I guess I prefer mortal men.
Bloom is well cast as a man who does want to be a hero, but is really a wuss. Given the fact that his two big roles have been pretty much fearless, it was refreshing to see him cower a bit. And he works well with Bana and the regal O'Toole. The audience I saw the film with snickered a bit when Helen says she prefers girly Paris to the more macho men, but come on, he's the face that launched a thousand teenage-girl-internet-hits, who can blame her?
Oh yes, there are a few women too. But who cares with all the shiny biceps, abs and calves on display?
*This post originally appeared on OscarWatch.