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Braveheart was filmed on location in Ireland and Scotland, and at the Ardmore Film Studios. Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun Times states that this film is, An action epic with the spirit of the Hollywood swordplay classics and the grungy ferocity of The Road Warrior. (www.rottontomatoes.com) James Caryn of the New York Times explains this film as, One of the most spectacular entertainments in years. (www.rottontomatoes.com) Nominated for several Academy Awards, this 1995 epic film is based on the life of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero William Wallace. Mel Gibson stars and directs this Academy Award winning film. Braveheart captures the viewers attention with its brutal battles scenes, love story, and the motivation to fight for their freedom.
William Wallace (Mel Gibson) returns to his homeland following the death of an heirless king, finds himself in the middle of political landscape turmoil. Edward the Longshanks, King of England played by Patrick McGoohan, has captured the throne of Scotland and threatens the freedom of all Scottish people with tyrannical policies implied by the English. William at the time is content with living a simple life trying to build his home and raise a family. This all changes when Wallace courts his love Murron who is
played by Catherine McCormack, suffers a cruel death at the hands of the English. Wallace infuriated by this action takes matters into his own hands by rebelling and slaying English troops. He is then determined to fight fiercely against the cruel King of England and his forces in Scotland. Wallace then gathers an amateur but passionate group of soldiers and takes a stand against the new rule of England. Although his army of soldiers is greatly outnumbered by the English, their passion, determination, and the love of their land helps them overcome giant odds and defeat the English in several battles. The conflict comes when the nobles of Scotland fight for the wrong reasons such as land and riches, and Wallace fights for the freedom of his people, and earns his respect with words and leadership. Wallace is then betrayed by the Scottish nobles and handed to the crown of England. In the end Wallace is tortured and asked to beg forgiveness to his King Edward Longshanks, but with his last breath of strength Wallace screams out the word FREEDOM! The Scottish people after that fought in one last battle like warrior poets and won their freedom.
Braveheart is a bloody motion picture with brutal violence which is not distasteful. The brutal decapitations, maimings, and other gruesome details make one feel right in action and in the world of William Wallace. There are also few moments in the film were Gibson shows statements against war by showing women and children over the dead of their love ones scattered all over the battle field. Here the director shows us that war is a two headed monster with both faces of the glorious of victory and the tragic of death.
The Scottish was perceived as crazy peasants with blue paint on their faces to show their insanity. During the first battle scene at Sterling, the Scottish show how crazy they really are by lifting up their kilts, turning around, and mooning the English troops. The acted was followed with a rain of wooden arrows from the English; soaring threw the air on route to the Scottish. After the aerial attack of wooden arrows, the Scottish show again how insane they were by lifting up their kilts for the second time and showing the English their gentiles. Even though this scene seems to be humorous to the viewer, it represents the reality of what happen on the battle field.
Braveheart also show an intriguing love story between two peasants, William and his childhood sweetheart Murron. William is determined to court Murron, so they have several secret rendezvous telling this fabulous love tale which in the end has a tragic ending. To prevent the English Lords their rights to consume the marriage for the groom, William and Murron secretly get married. However, the cat is let out of the bag and an English troop decides to take his right by trying to rape Murron. William comes to her rescue by attacking the English soldiers, but their escape was foiled as Murron is captured. She is then tied up on a wooden post and killed as the English Lord slices her throat from ear to ear. This is the true motivation of Williamss rebel against the English; love. The English princess played by Sophie Marceau is intrigued by Wallace because he fights for love, for Murron. This love story puts the viewer threw the joy and happiness of being in love and the pain, suffering, and vengeance one feels of losing a loved one.
Love is the motivation that Wallace uses for his strength and determination to defeat the English army. One man, a common man motivates his countrymen to fight for their freedom with inspiring words as, And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom. (www.rottontomatoes.com) When I heard those words in the movie theater, it motivated me and put me in the actual film by making me want to participate in the battle. After Wallace has been killed, the Scottish is faced once again on the battle field with the English, but without their fearless leader. The soon to be King of Scotland turns to his people and motivates them in one last battle for their freedom as he states, You have bled with Wallace, now bleed with me. (www.rottontomatoes.com) And they did, they fought for their freedom like warrior poets. After leaving the movie theater I felt that if I put my mind to anything I wanted, I could accomplish it.
In the end this film runs between two and a half hours to three hours of brutal battles, love, and motivational speeches that leaves one exhausted after viewing this film. This is such a powerful film because it makes you feel like you are actually participating from the begging to the end. I recommend this movie to everyone, and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. After all the film speaks for itself with Academy awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and the Oscar for Best Cinematography which makes this epic film a must see movie.
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