Director: Mel Gibson
Writer: Randall Wallace
Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan
Genre: Drama, History
Runtime: 178 Minutes
RATING: 4 Stars
William Wallace is a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler Edward the Longshanks, who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself. When he was a young boy, William Wallace’s father and brother, along with many others, lost their lives trying to free Scotland. Once he loses another of his loved ones, William Wallace begins his long quest to make Scotland free once and for all, along with the assistance of Robert the Bruce. – From IMDB
What can I say about Braveheart that hasn’t already been said about a thousand times before. It’s an absolute classic, that features one of the most recognisable monologues in movie history. And a performance by Mel Gibson that is absolutely one of his career bests. How I have managed to go this long without seeing this film is beyond me, but yesterday was the day that I tackled this film, and after some initial trepidation about a three hour long historical drama, I ended up really enjoying myself.
The cast is stacked and all of them are at the top of their game. I can’t pick out a weak spot amongst them, a rare thing in such a large ensemble cast. Of course some of the characters are more memorable than others, but by the end of the film you care greatly for all of them, which is what makes the end scenes so impactful. It does feel long, very very long. And the bloody battles and rousing speeches can only go so far to quicken the pace of the three hour runtime, but if you are someone that loves a historical epic, and there are quite a few of you out there, then this is definitely for you.
As with all Hollywood historical dramas, they did take a few liberties with the truth. I watched this film with a friend of mine who is quite the history buff, and she had a great time picking out all the historical inaccuracies in not only the story, but also in the mannerisms, and costumes as well. It didn’t take anything away from the film I still a great time watching, but if you are someone who would notice the inaccuracies, I imagine it could be rather irksome.
A great classic, and one I should have watched way before now. Will I ever watch it again…? Maybe. It’s entertaining enough to warrant a second viewing, but it wont be for a while, I like my films to be a little more uplifting.