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The Patriot: a Cinematic Reflection of Revolutionary Struggles

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Words: 1093 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Words: 1093|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Plot
  2. Significance to Colonial History
  3. Transformational Power of War
  4. Conclusion
  5. Critical Reception

The award-winning film "The Patriot" released in the 2000s presents a fictionalized account of a man's struggles during the Revolutionary War. Although not historically accurate, the movie effectively captures the sentiments of the time and connects them to a relatable personal conflict. The film has received both praise and criticism for its plot, characters, cinematography, and soundtrack. This analysis will delve into the events of the movie and highlight some intriguing aspects.

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Plot

To better understand the movie's peculiarities, it is essential to discuss the plot. The story takes place during the Revolutionary War between 1770 and 1780 and follows Benjamin Martin, a war veteran and single father raising his seven children in South Carolina. Despite living a modest life as a carpenter, Benjamin's two eldest sons, driven by their desire to join the military and fight in the war, enlist against his objections. After two years, Gabriel, Benjamin's oldest son, returns home wounded alongside other soldiers. However, their respite is short-lived as the arrival of British Colonel William Tavington shatters the fragile peace, resulting in the burning of Benjamin's house and the capture and murder of his son. Driven by vengeance, Benjamin takes decisive action to protect his family and free Gabriel from captivity. Together, they join the Continental army and recruit others who share their disdain for the King of England. Their goal is to disrupt General Charles Cornwallis's plans while awaiting French reinforcements. The rag-tag militia, through sabotage and harassment, manages to significantly impede the British army's progress. The movie also explores a romantic subplot between Gabriel and Anne, Benjamin's childhood friend. Tricked by hidden British soldiers during an operation, the heroes suffer heavy losses and are forced to retreat. Benjamin strikes a deal with General Cornwallis to secure the release of his captured comrades. In response, the General authorizes harsh tactics for Colonel Tavington, leading to the destruction of Charlette's plantation. Benjamin's militia continues their fight, but tragedy strikes when Anne and her family are killed by the British. Devastated by his wife's death, Gabriel seeks revenge but is fatally wounded in a confrontation with Colonel Tavington. Overwhelmed with grief, Benjamin eventually rejoins the militia and, during the decisive battle at Cowpens, avenges both of his sons by killing Tavington. The movie concludes with the British army's retreat, and Benjamin returns to his family to rebuild his home.

Significance to Colonial History

Examining the movie's significance to Colonial History, it becomes evident that it captures a period of uncertainty and upheaval. The Revolutionary War marked a time when people united under a common cause to defend their values, loved ones, and reject British control. Although the colonies were not a unified entity, conflicts with Britain served as a unifying factor, fueled by the principles of freedom and personhood that characterized early American colonizers. The film highlights the individual efforts of people during this turbulent time and the unique motivations driving their fight. Many characters, including Benjamin, join the war not out of duty or patriotism but to protect their families or achieve personal goals. Benjamin's initial operations as a "Ghost" were solely driven by his desire to free his son, which later transitions into a mission to help Gabriel fight the British, ultimately culminating in a revenge-driven murder of Tavington. This portrayal showcases soldiers as complex individuals with their own struggles and motivations, rather than mere faceless killing machines. The movie also explores relationships between various groups, such as the American people and Colonel Tavington. Tavington, a brutal British commander, takes pleasure in killing American soldiers and exhibits an arrogant demeanor, enabled by his high military status. Despite being an opposing force, Tavington's actions and personality allow him to oppress, mock, and kill others. Additionally, the film introduces the character of Occam, a former slave, which prompts mixed opinions from the characters about black people. Benjamin openly supports freeing slaves, while some of his comrades oppose it. This portrayal reflects the varied perspectives of the time. Overall, the movie effectively portrays this uncertain period in American history as a time of rapid change that would eventually lead to the formation of the United States.

Transformational Power of War

Further examining a specific exchange between Dan Scott and Occam provides a surprising realization about the nature of war and conflict. Occam, a black man who joined the military with the promise of freedom after a year of service, continues fighting alongside others despite his obligations ending. Dan Scott, initially a racist character who consistently shows disgust towards Occam, eventually gains respect for him. During their time serving together, Dan comes to see Occam as a fellow human, someone similar to his comrades, and begins to bond with him. Occam's decision to remain in the military after fulfilling his term is interpreted as an act of devotion and patriotism, earning Dan's respect. This change in attitude highlights the transformative power of shared experiences during times of war.

Conclusion

The film concludes on a hopeful note as Benjamin Martin and his family rebuild their lives and their home. It emphasizes the resilience and determination of the American people, even in the face of immense loss and tragedy. The movie reminds viewers that the fight for freedom and independence is not without sacrifice, but it is a fight worth undertaking.

Critical Reception

In terms of critical reception, "The Patriot" has garnered mixed reviews. Some praise its thrilling action sequences, emotional performances, and visually stunning cinematography. The film effectively immerses viewers in the chaos and brutality of war, eliciting strong emotional responses. The soundtrack, composed by John Williams, also adds to the film's impact, heightening the intensity of key scenes. However, the film has also faced criticism for its historical inaccuracies and its portrayal of the British. Some argue that the movie oversimplifies the complexities of the Revolutionary War and portrays the British as one-dimensional villains. The character of Colonel Tavington, in particular, has been criticized for being an exaggerated representation of British cruelty and sadism. Additionally, the film has been accused of whitewashing history by omitting or downplaying the contributions of marginalized groups, such as African Americans and Native Americans, to the war effort.

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Despite these criticisms, "The Patriot" remains a compelling and thought-provoking film that effectively captures the spirit of the Revolutionary War. It may not be a completely accurate historical account, but it successfully conveys the struggles and sacrifices of individuals during a pivotal moment in American history. By connecting the personal story of Benjamin Martin to the broader themes of freedom and independence, the film resonates with audiences and reminds us of the importance of fighting for what we believe in.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Patriot: A Cinematic Reflection of Revolutionary Struggles. (2024, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-patriot-a-cinematic-reflection-of-revolutionary-struggles/
“The Patriot: A Cinematic Reflection of Revolutionary Struggles.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-patriot-a-cinematic-reflection-of-revolutionary-struggles/
The Patriot: A Cinematic Reflection of Revolutionary Struggles. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-patriot-a-cinematic-reflection-of-revolutionary-struggles/> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
The Patriot: A Cinematic Reflection of Revolutionary Struggles [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 12 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-patriot-a-cinematic-reflection-of-revolutionary-struggles/
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