Bespaloff meditates at length on Hector and Achilles because for her the duel between them, not Achilles's wrath nor his dispute with Agamemnon over Briseis
, constitutes the epic's center, its unifying principle.
After a few postcard-like 'snaps' giving us time, place, and a few character-clues (Agamemnon is a greedy conqueror; Achilles is an arrogant demi-god; they do not like each other), Petersen lets his actors get into character, and his characters propel the plot all by themselves right up to the tragic conclusion (though why Briseis
should kill Agamemnon is a mystery .
That feat was relatively common in the 19th century, when Briseis
produced Corinne, Medora produced Guulnare, Industry produced Lady Evelyn, Cyprian produced Songstress, Fille de l'Air produced Reine, Queen Bertha produced both Spinaway and Wheel Of Fortune, and Spinaway produced Busybody, but there has been a long hiatus since 1899 winner Musa delivered 1912 victress Mirska.
Throw in the lovely Rose Byrne as Trojan priestess and eventual object of Achilles' affection Briseis
and the lithe Saffron Burrows as Hector's wife, Andromache, and you might not even notice that there is a war going on.
Angry over his disagreements with Agamemnon about ownership of the captive woman Briseis
, Achilles has withdrawn from the war and from almost all social activities.
But Agamemnon needs Achilles, who sulks in his tent with his mistress Briseis
(Rose Byrne) until Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund) is killed.
Saffron Burrows and Rose Byrne fare a little better as Hector's wife and his cousin Briseis
, who falls for Achilles.
Another huge downside was that the storyline was changed, quite considerably in some places - such as when Achilles searched through Troy for Briseis
Achilles' eagerly anticipated sex scenes with his Trojan lover Briseis
(Rose Byrne) are the stuff of a million fantasies as Brad goes nude and shows that, even when stripped of his armour, he's no slouch.
And the good news is that, following a bust up with the bullyingly arrogant Agamemnon over a captured vestal virgin, Priam's niece Briseis
(Rose Byrne) as it happens, Achilles, never one of Agamemnon's bigger fans, has decided to sit this one out.
Raven-haired Rose plays Briseis
, the virgin Trojan priestess to the god Apollo, who is swept off her feet and into the bed of Greece's most famous and feared warrior, Achilles.
Filming love scenes are always terribly awkward really, because you're wearing weird underwear, and it's very technical,' says the Australian star who plays 17-year-old Briseis
, Priam's niece and Hector's cousin, a virgin acolyte to Apollo who is captured by the Greeks and given to Achilles as a tribute.