Friday, June 04, 2004

Perhaps Critics Should Study Up on Human Nature First?

Since I posted on Stuttaford's (reasonably good) critical review of Troy previously, I decided to look at what others are saying. Stuttaford's is, I think, the best I've seen. Some of them are very bad, e.g.:

Jonathan Foreman, New York Post Online:

In particular, Eric Bana in the key role of Hector, Achilles' fearsome but sympathetic Trojan antagonist, lacks the necessary looks and screen presence. And while Diane Kruger's Helen is pretty, you really need an actress to project great beauty of the kind that would make a prince violate the hospitality of his hosts and provoke the Bronze Age equivalent of a world war.
[...]
It's OK to create a political explanation for the Greek expedition, making punishment for Helen's abduction a convenient cover story for Agamemnon's imperial ambitions. But without honor as a primary concern, Achilles' fury at Agamemnon for taking away his lawful prize, the priestess Briseis, doesn't really make any sense.

Is there anything so silly as these statements? What the last sentence of the first paragraph in effect boils down to is this: "You really need an actress to be beautiful enough that a man of otherwise good sense would have an affair and run off with her, regardless of consequences." And the last sentence of the second paragraph would imply that the only source of fury someone might have at his slavegirl being stolen from him is "honor". No wonder movie critics have such a reputation for being wrong....

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