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Wednesday, April 13, 2005The Passion of the Achilles
So I just finished watching Troy and something about it gave the urge to write. No this isn't going to be a movie review about a two hour and something epic based on a 4000 and something year old story. I'm not even going to rant about that the scientific inaccuracies of it (like the fact that a bronze sword would be much more pliable than represented). Actually what I noticed was what was missing.
I remember growing up watching the Lou Ferrigno, Hercules movies, and the thing I remember most was always the gods themselves (alternate title for this blog). Zeus, Hera, Hermes, Ares and the like all sitting around on their mountain on high casting down judgement on us mere mortals! I think what was missing most was the religious fervor. The fact that Achilles was always represented as a God-dipped hero invicible to all things except on his heel. Why was that left out? Granted, there aren't many followers of Greek gods anymore (except for that weird guy in college). But why were the beliefs of the ancients so blatantly left out? Of course mention was made of all the gods, but the story I've always read has been one of mortals being merely pawns of some simple misunderstanding between Apollo, Aphrodite and Zeus (its always Zeus and his infidelitly causing the problems, isn't it).
I would have like to seen Achilles as a man truly believing he was invincible because of god given powers. A story of religious freaks both believing they are in the right, fighting for whose God is more just. Is it because a movie about different religous beliefs of a different religion wouldn't have flown in this Religious Right era that we live in? How would The Passion of the Christ been recieved if Jesus was portrayed as a man who just had a lot of good things to say, and not about the son of God? Wouldn't a story about two of religous fanatics waging war against each other due to a simple disagreement between beliefs have been for more apropos for the current political climate? How would the story of Hercules be if he had not been the illegimate bastard of a wayward deity? Or the Odessey without a cameo by Poseidon, and Sirens that were only whores. Or the crusades represented as just a economic conflict?
I guess its too bad that Aenaes (my friend in college) is the last believer of Greek mythology, or otherwise the story might have been more true to its origins. I can only imagine a movie 3000 years from now portraying Moses as man who just got lucky; the Nile was turned red by a freak happenstance of red algae, and he just happened upon the Red Sea as a giant storm (or possibly tidal wave) caused the Red Sea to flow out right as he needed to lead his people across, and flowed back in time to kill the Egyptians.
"But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!' " -Jack Kerouac, On the Road
"Burn Troy, Burn!" -Agamemnon, Troy, the movie