With all the richness in plot offered by myths, in particular the myth of the Trojan War, I find it so frustrating that movies like Helen of Troy are made. Acting/script/historical accuracy problems aside, I’d like to focus on how they took one of the best known myths and turned it into a … well, made for tv mess. Spoilers ahead.
Kudos, I suppose, for actually including Theseus. However, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO CASTOR??? Helen had TWO brothers!!! Castor and Pollux, and in this one she only had one! Who was killed by Theseus! And who killed Theseus!! That’s not how either of them died.
What happened to the gods?? How do you tell the story of the Trojan War and NOT include the gods? (except for one insignificant scene)
As far as I know, Helen never set eyes on Paris before his visit to Sparta. Incidentally, the purpose of his visit to Sparta was to bring back his aunt Hesione, Priam’s sister, who was married to a Greek king after she got kidnapped by Herakles. That’s a much better excuse than “ooh let’s drive a wedge between the two brothers, who aren’t that close anyway.”
Achilles was NOT old enough to be one of Helen’s suitors. Achilles was actually hidden away on an island, dressed in drag before he was recruited by Odysseus to join the war.
Odysseus came up with the oath loyalty to Helen’s future husband in order to marry Penelope, Helen’s cousin. That’s how it was supposed to have happened.
Why the hell was Clytemnestra in Troy at the end of the movie? Agamemnon was supposed to be killed with neither on land nor in water, neither clothed nor naked. (half in the tub, covered by a net) Clytemnestra was supposed to have a lover Aegisthus who helped to kill Agamemnon and Cassandra, because Agamemnon claimed Cassandra as his slave.
The duel between Hector & Achilles… was WRONG. WRONG. and WRONG!!! Achilles really had no reason to hate Hector, besides this unnatural loyalty to Agamemnon in the movie… In the myth, Hector had killed Patroclus, who was Achilles’ best friend. So Achilles overcame his dislike of Agamemnon and killed Hector and was pretty damn reasonable about ransoming the body to Priam. Ooh… And Helen never went to surrender herself.
In fact, the entire WAR is WRONG. They were supposed to be there for 10 years, and that whole scene with Menelaus & Paris running through Troy? WRONG! They were fighting on an open FIELD. A FIELD! and of course Agamemnon didn’t kill Paris. It was another guy named Philoctetes. Paris could have lived, but his first wife, Oenene, refused to cure him because he’d abandoned her AND their son once he saw Helen. So the movie… was WRONG. again. It did get the whole Achilles heel thing, but you’d kinda have to be immensely demented not to get that right.
Regarding the Trojan Horse… where the hell is Laocoon?
In this movie… Agamemnon is a sick, sick bastard. He rapes Helen AND kills his own daugher. Agamemnon didn’t actually kill his daughter in the myth. Artemis supposedly put a deer in her place and whisked her off to Aulis, where she became a priestess. And he had two other children!!! Electra & Orestes. What happened to them in this movie?? Regarding Helen, she was actually married to Deiphobus after Paris died, and helped Menelaus KILL that jerk (Deiphobus).
Which brings me to my next point – what happened to the other 47 children Priam had??
Bridget Jones ruined Menelaus. They had the dude who played TOM from bridget jones as Menelaus. Menelaus is a great warrior, to be taken seriously, but all I could think of when I saw him was that bit where he raised his eyebrows and said, “Circulate. oozing intelligence.” and bridget going, “total poof, of course.”
Conclusions: It’s a horrible horrible movie. Aside from good looking actors, it really really sucks.