|Troy is a 2004 epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen and loosely based on Homer’s Iliad. It features an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Garrett Hedlund, Tyler Mane, and Peter O’Toole.
It was nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design.
Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and his young brother Paris (Orlando Bloom) negotiate peace between Troy and Sparta. Paris has fallen in love with Helen (Diane Kruger), the wife of king Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), and smuggles her back to Troy with him. Infuriated, Menelaus vows revenge. Menelaus approaches his brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox), a king who has conquered every army of Greece, and now commands them. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for years (which would give him control of the Aegean Sea), uses this as a justification to invade Troy. General Nestor (John Shrapnel) asks him to take the legendary warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt), to rally the troops to the cause.
Odysseus (Sean Bean), a king commanded by Agamemnon, visits Phtia to persuade Achilles to fight, and finds him training with Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), his cousin. Achilles, pondering his decision, visits his mother Thetis (Julie Christie) for advice. She tells him that, before he was even born, she knew this day would come. She also tells him that if he does not go to Troy, he will live a long, happy life and have children, but after he dies, his name will be forgotten and nobody will remember him. If he does go to Troy, he will find great glory in battle, his name will be written into history forever, but he will die there. Achilles, wanting his name to be remembered, chooses to go.
The Greeks sail for Troy. Achilles and the Myrmidons are the fastest rowers and land before anyone else. They kill many Trojans and desecrate the temple of Apollo. Briseis (Rose Byrne), a member of the Trojan royal family, is captured and taken as a prize to the Greeks, despite Achilles claiming her as a war prize himself.
Achilles and his Myrmidons do not fight the next day because of Agamemnon’s unfair claim to Briseis. With Greeks surrounding Troy, Paris challenges Menelaus to a duel to settle things. Menelaus agrees; however, Agamemnon plans on attacking the city regardless of the outcome. Paris is easily defeated, and wounded. Hector intervenes and kills Menelaus. The Greeks charge the Trojan lines but are forced to fall back when they are nearly wiped out by archers on Troy’s walls. Ajax is slain in the battle at the hands of Hector.
Agamemnon gives Briseis to his men, but Achilles rescues her. He carries her back to his tent and tends to her wounds. Briseis then tries to kill Achilles but realizes that she has feelings for him and the two make love. The next day, Achilles is readying his men to leave, much to Patroclus’ indignation.
That night, the Trojans launch a surprise offensive against the Greek encampment, aiming to destroy their boats and prevent their escape. As the Greeks seem to be on the verge of defeat, Achilles appears with the Myrmidons and joins the battle, eventually fighting against Hector. The battle goes much better for the Greeks than before, but all are shocked when Hector cuts Achilles’ throat. Hector removes his foe’s helmet, revealing the face of Patroclus. After Hector finishes the mortally wounded youth mercifully, both armies agree to end fighting for the day. Before he leaves, Odysseus informs Hector it was Patroclus whom he had killed.
Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by Eudorus of his cousin’s death. The Greeks had also mistaken Patroclus for Achilles, since he had put on Achilles’ armour and moved like Achilles. Furious, Achilles attacks Eudorus and when Briseis tries to stop him, he throws her to the ground. Later that night, Achilles lights Patroclus’ funeral pyre. Meanwhile, in Troy, Hector realizes that Achilles will seek revenge for the death of his cousin, and begins making preparations to save his loved ones. He leads Andromache to a secret path out of the city, asking her to use it if the city falls. He also passes on the Sword of Troy to Paris (who has begun training in archery), claiming that the city’s people have a future so long as the sword is in the hands of a Trojan.
The next day Achilles approaches the gates of Troy alone and shouts for Hector to come out and face him. Hector knows he must face him alone, so he says his goodbyes to his family and friends and then confronts Achilles. The two fight an evenly matched duel at the start, but Hector begins to tire against the relentless assault of Achilles. Eventually, Achilles slays Hector by stabbing him in the chest. He then ties Hector’s body to the back of his chariot, dragging it around the city, leaving all the Trojans shocked. That night, King Priam (Peter O’Toole) visits the Greek army’s camp to convince Achilles to let him retrieve Hector’s body. Moved by the king’s plea, Achilles acquiesces to his request and allows him to take his son to be buried, promising him the 12 days for funerary rites. Achilles breaks down and cries while preparing Hector’s body for transport back to Troy. He tells Priam that Hector was the best he had ever fought. Achilles lets Priam take Briseis back as well. He later apologises to Eudorus for harming him and gives him one last order: to take the Myrmidons home.
During the 12 day-truce, Troy mourns Hector’s death, while Agamemmnon fumes at the loss of an opportunity to end the war once and for all while the Trojans are in disarray at the loss of their top general even though his generals, including Odysseus, inform him that the death Hector makes no difference as the Greeks still cant breach the walls of Troy. Seeing that the mad king will sooner see every one of his own men slaughtered before he gives up his ambition, Odysseus plans to infiltrate the city by building a hollowed-out wooden horse. The Greeks leave the horse at their camp, then depart, hiding their ships in a nearby cove. Priam trusts his priests that the horse is an offering to Poseidon and a gift, despite the misgivings of Paris. Assuming victory, the Trojans take the horse into the city and celebrate. A Trojan scout finds the Greek ships hiding in the cove, but is killed by the Greeks before he can spread the news. A band of Greeks led by Achilles and Odysseus come out of the horse at night, opening the gates to the city, allowing the main army to enter. The Greeks commence the Sack of Troy, massacring the inhabitants and looting buildings. The Trojan army attempts to defend the royal palace but fails, and the Greeks storm in, killing Glaucus and Priam in the process.
While Troy is burned, Paris sees Andromache, Helen, and many others escaping from Troy through the secret passage Hector showed his wife. Seeing a man named Aeneas, Paris hands him the Sword of Troy, repeating his brother’s words that the Trojans will have a future as long as the sword is in Trojan hands. After seeing the survivors off, Paris heads back into the city, bow and arrows at the ready.
Achilles searches for Briseis, who is being threatened by Agamemnon. She kills him with a concealed knife and is saved from his guards by Achilles. While Achilles is helping Briseis to her feet, Paris, seeing them together and misinterpreting Achilles’ actions, shoots Achilles several times before Briseis manages to stay his hand. Achilles urges Briseis to join Paris and escape from the city, then dies of the wound to the one spot on his body that was vulnerable, his heel. The soldiers arrive to see the fallen Achilles with only the single arrow through his heel, as he had removed all the others, in keeping with the myth that Achilles was killed by a single arrow to the heel. Funeral rituals are performed for him in the ruins of Troy the next day. The film ends with a speech from Odysseus “If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles.”