I just saw the movie “Troy” – though I have seen most of it a few years ago, the availability of Blu-ray DVD gave me a chance to see it in high definition and I thought I should not pass up the opportunity.
Troy is a great movie by a fabulous director and acted by fantastic actors, no doubt about it. In fact, it should be classified as one of the best movies of all times.
I am not going to write about the Troy story, or about the characters. I noticed a few things while I saw the movie late last night, which I did not notice in the past. May be then I was captivated by the “hugeness” of the movie and the great war that was being enacted on screen.
Even this time, I was enthralled by the war and the characters who bring the original story alive in this great movie. I was intrigued by the politics, cunningness, merciless killings in the name of war, love for the country, steadfastness, etc., of the various characters.
But then, the movie shows that while the Greeks were retreating the Trojans attacked them, which is not considered good war behaviour in any war. There were several scenes, including the one involving the King of Troy, which depicted the murderous killing from behind by Greeks as well – even when the victims were unarmed and helples. That is not considered an heroic act, it is rather considered as cowardice. The Greek soldiers were shown as killing helpless women and raping them, and throwing their babies into fire. That behaviour is considered criminal and an unjust war atrocity in today’s world. The final cheating by the Greeks is clearly an act which acknowledged their inability to fight and defeat the Trojans in straight battles.
And the early morning attack by the Trojans on the retreating Greeks was a monumental error of judgement by the King of Troy, which ultimately led to the killing of Prince Hector by Achilles in straight hand-to-hand combat.
A student of history, or political science, or war, can learn a lot from this movie. Likewise, anyone can learn about how human emotions, treachery and love can affect decision-making in this great movie.
I asked my son to write a one-pager on this movie, in which he wrote about why the war happened and how it was won. While that was good and necessary to explain, I am going to ask him on the above points tomorrow – what we should unlearn from this movie which I really admired.
Sometimes, we should also understand the need for unlearning from the great stories that history has given to us.
See the movie ! If you haven’t already !!
3rd December 2011