By Matt (Wisconsin)
Add Another to the List of Tremendous Historical Dramas
Following in the footsteps of great historic dramas such as Titanic and The Last Emperor comes the equally great movie Braveheart. This classic film of good versus evil presents a dynamic storyline intertwined with extreme action and violence, getting the audience emotionally involved and on the edge of their seats. A lot of this movie is, however, fairly predictable, but this is not detrimental to the movie’s overall quality.
Right off the bat, young William Wallace (James Robinson) encounters a life situation that no one ever wishes on a child. The long shots of this innocent youth staring right into the camera looking helpless and lost will cause any human being to feel compassion for him. Shortly after this, William appears as an adult (Mel Gibson) and another horrific incident occurs; this event then leads to Wallace revolting which starts a revolution in Scotland. The rest of the movie is about this revolution and looks at the perspectives and reactions from each side involved (Great Britain and Scotland). These two events shown right at the beginning cause the audience to care for William and all that happens to him the rest of the movie.
After the second horrific incident, William seeks revenge, thus providing the audience with the first action scene. Vivid images of one man’s leg being cut clear-off and another’s body impaled on a sword provide entertainment and suspense, but at the same time, a feeling of shock and disgust; you want to watch, but you don’t want to throw up. More battles similar to the first are dispersed throughout the movie, all just as attention-grabbing, all just as repulsive.
Although these battles are impressive and realistic, you’re never really worried William is in danger. Someone is always swinging a sword at his head, but no foe really comes close to injuring him; it seem like he has some advantage over everyone else. There’s also the underlying fact that either he has to make it out of the fights alive, or the rest of the film is an enormously long funeral.
The feeling of good versus evil is very prominent during the course of this movie. Patrick McGoohan (King Longshanks, the King of Great Britain) displays an always scowling face and delivers his lines with an “I’m better than you” approach, creating a character that’s very easy to dislike. Compare this to the acting of Mel Gibson, whose expressions and emotional speeches present a noble, righteous man, therefore provide the adverse effect. It is then very easy to label one side as “evil” and the other as “good,” as these are the two main characters.
In a lot of movies, the people in power often are corrupted and not deserving of their position. These films remind us to not just trust the leaders in our world because they’re in charge, but to question their beliefs and actions to determine how fit they are to lead.