| Braveheart (1995) |
Gorgeous scenery, incredible bravery, frightening medieval battles, and perfect romance. All are intertwined with a noble cause - freedom! This is one of the greatest films of all time.
This also has to be a career peak for Mel Gibson. Many critics panned "Road Warrior" and many were downright hostile to "The Passion of Christ", but they can't take away "Braveheart". Mel's acting was brilliant.
Anyone, who has ever felt that they were the underdog fighting a stronger foe, will be absolutely enthralled as the 2 hours and 57 minutes whip by.
The only flaw in this film, and it is a big one, is the lack of historical accuracy. The problem is not its failure to teach history, but that millions of viewers are taught a false history fabricated to work with modern sensibilities and attitudes.
William Wallace did lead a rebellion against English occupation in 1296. He was later captured and executed as depicted. Everything else was made up.
The blue Scottish face paint is of a time period 1000 years earlier. The final battle took place on bridge not an open field. Wallace did not have a romance with any English woman. While there really was a Princess Isabella, she came after Wallace's death, had her husband murdered, and then launched her own invasion of Scotland.
In the film, King Edward of England passes a law permitting English men to rape any Scottish woman on her wedding night. There is no historical evidence of this. Today and historically, men have always felt a strong protective feeling towards women, so such a law would have been just as unpopular in England as in Scotland.
"Braveheart" uses a common plot device. Women are portrayed as the standard bearer of morality. We know that the hero is a good guy, because women like him. The villain earns our hate by his cruelty to women. Many men are so taught that their self-worth depends on how well they please women.
Despite all of that it is an excellent yarn. It is entertaining, uplifting and inspiring. I highly recommend "Braveheart".
- Reviewed by Paul G.
Rating: R in the USA, R in Canada, a cut version is rated 15 in the UK.
Duration: 2 hours and 57 minutes