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Odyssey by Homer and the movie The Odyssey (1997)

Fertile imagination and expert technical knowledge are essential to make the movie realistic. Homer keeps the readers guessing with the tools of fate and prophesies, the resultant sudden developments, twists and turns and with knotty style with which he negotiates the story. In the movie, in addition, the fated situations and battle scenes have been bought to life intelligently and justice has been done to the original content of the poem. The director has bridged the historical gap of two thousand six hundred ninety-sevens years well. Special Effects The director’s struggle to create authentic special effects is clearly seen. They are tolerable, but not totally acceptable as some of them stretch far out from the reality. On the whole, the battle scenes are portrayed effectively. The scene of slaughtering of the suitors by Odysseus and Telemachus is true to the descriptions in the book and they are gouged by spears and pierced by arrows. Preceding this scene, the director provides adequate backgrounder information for the attitude of vendetta. Odysseus is shocked to see his wife mobbed by suitors seeking her hand, as all of them have presumed that Odysseus is dead. Odysseus and his son Telemachus hatch a plan to kill the suitors who have arrived with great expectations, each one of them confident about winning her hand. Cruel stroke of fate is waiting to strike. From the leisurely mood of the suitors, to create an instant war scene, great directorial skills are needed. What is the position of the suitors before the attack began? The poet describes, After eating to their heart’s content, They reached out for the goods things that lay at hand, And when they’d put aside desire for food and drink The suitor set their minds on other pleasures, Song and dancing, all that crowns a feast… (Homer 1, p, 82, 174-179, 2006) Some mythical creatures are pictured in the movie, in addition to the ones that have been shown in the book. The picture of ancient Greece is brought before the minds of the movie audience and they fit well into the description in the book, barring Cyclops. Cyclops appears fake and his appearance and working of the eyes is not believable. Special effects in some scenes are partly acceptable. When Odysseus walks through the hall of Hades, the balls of fire falling from above look realistic but the lava flowing down the walls looks awful and fake. Deliberate changes made by the director in the movie to make it a commercial success: The foremost objective of the producer and the director of the movie are to make it successful commercially. To achieve the dramatic effect, many changes in the script have been made. The movie begins with the birth of Telemachus, but in the book there is no mention of the event. The movie shows Odysseus as an affectionate husband and father but it is not so in the poem. The temptation of the director to succumb to the taste of the audience at the cost of the original storyline is evident. The movie shows the Trojan War but the book begins on conclusion of this war. When the war is raging in all is seriousness, there is a minor flip. When Odysseus screams Fight. Fight. FIGHT. as a soldier plays the flute and they all run down the hill, the audience can spot a cameraman with a blue t-shirt and sunglasses. Mostly, war-scenes are to the liking of the audience. The storyline is rearranged, and no guesswork is involved for the spectators. The technique used in the book is, Odysseus tells part of the story to the readers. To make it appeal to the emotions of the

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