Saturday, July 07, 2007

Paris in Bloom

Anyway, talking of spoilers, this might be one. I was watching Troy last night on video and finally realized how camp it actually was. After a while I was genuinely expecting Elizabeth Taylor to float gracefully into view.

I had seen it at the theater, but at the time its principal aspect was its size. I tend to sit at the front. Movies with a lot of crowd or battle scenes in them look big, a bit like watching real crowds crossing busy intersections, rather than like movies, so the usual requirements for plot, meaning, etc. tend to drop off proportionally to the increase in the number of extras (or CGI extras). Troy was really big.

Anyway, (here comes the spoiler bit), as I'm sure you know, the young Trojan prince Paris runs off with Menelaus' wife Helen and goes back to Troy, where his dad, Priam, and his older brother Hector get saddled with the job of repelling a bunch of pissed Greeks looking to get Helen back.

Paris, it quickly turns out, is more of a lover than a fighter, a man with an unfilmic tendency to hide behind his big brother's legs when it comes to dueling angry husbands. For some inadequately explored reason everyone in the film seems not to mind various complete lapses of honor like this one, and so he, Paris, is left alive while Hector is the one who gets kilt by an overly philosophical Achilles, who gets to spout a bunch of world-weary-cop lines that seem to have squeezed out of the joints of a neighboring movie and gotten picked up on the sandals of the anti-heroes of this one.

Anyway, later on, Hector is dead, Helen is leaning on her wimpy prince's shoulder, the Greeks are without, developing new, never before seen forms of whoop-ass with which to douse the Trojans, and Paris groans something about how terrible it all is, what with the Prince of Troy being dead and all, and Helen leans over and coos, "Never mind. I'll always have Paris."

Well, no, actually she didn't, but she should have.

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