Monday, 7 May 2012


Braveheart, 1995
Directed by Mel Gibson
Nominated for 10 Oscars, Won 5
Up Against: Apollo 13, Babe, Il Postino: The Postman, Sense and Sensibility

Braveheart is the story of William Wallace and his fight for the freedom of Scotland, and his people, from the British. When William was a little boy, King Edward I, or also know as Longshanks, of England, invades Scotland. Little William see's tons of men in his village hung in a hut where they were promised a meeting to make peace, and William's father and brother die. William goes to live with his uncle, is educated, and returns to his village a grown man. He falls in love with a woman he knew when he was young, and they court in secret, and marry in secret. They marry in secret because Longshanks grants his noblemen land in Scotland, and also something called "Primae Noctis", which means noblemen have the right to sleep with a Scottish women on her wedding night. William and his wife meet in secret, hoping to avoid this. However, when a man tries to rape William's wife, William injuries and kills many of the noblemen, and the two try to flee, but his wife is captured and publicly executed in the village before William figures out what has happened. William and the entire Scottish village wage a war on the noblemen staying there, killing them all, and executing the sherriff. William Wallace is now on a crusade for Scotland's freedom, and as his name and legacy spreads, his builds an army. But with all this comes a cost.

Braveheart is a film about bravery, and about living (and dying) for what you believe in. This movie is nowhere near historically accurate, nor does it really try to be, though is set with real people as characters, in a real war. What I loved about this movie straightaway was the score. And right away I could tell it was by James Horner. He has such a distinguishable sound to him (but so did John Williams, back in the Star Wars/Jurassic Park days, and as does Hans Zimmer, John Powell, and Alexandre Desplat), but the score was superbly Scottish, and was very beautiful. Additionally, the sets and costumes were really stunning. The scenery was gorgeous, and filmed so well (it won Best Cinematography). The Art Direction, set design, make-up, just looked really great too. Besides Best Picture and Director, the film won Cinematography, Make-Up and Sound Editing. All these awards were rightfully deserved. And it rightfully earned nominations for Score, Costume, Editing, and Sound Mixing. However, the thing I wasn't so keen on was the pacing of the story.

The story of William Wallance, his childhood and the secret wedding and murdering of his wife took up the first hour of the movie. The next two hours were battle scenes, cliche scenes of Scottish citizens overtaking the English Noblemen, and The Princess of France (married to Longshank's son), and Robert the Bruce (aspiring to take the throne of Scotland) supporting William Wallace inwardly, while those around them do not.

While the movie was acting very well, had great effects, and achieved well in the art and tech areas, this movie was a little stop-and-start in pacing, and was just so simply average. The story was cliche, with nothing all that new or original to boast about. It was exceedingly inaccurate, and was just like any other period piece war movie. Additionally, I found things were drawn out too long, and the movie could've been significantly shorter than the 3 hours that it is.

I don't mean to crap all over this movie. It was a decent film, with some good acting, beautiful scenery and great costumes and great music. However, this film isn't all that original, is a wee bit too long for it's own good. Oh, and it was up against Apollo 13 that year.

Acting- 8/10 
Directing- 7/10 
Screenplay- 6/10 
Visuals- 8.5/10 

Music- 9/10 Emotional Connection- 3/10 
Entertainment- 3/10 
Rewatchability- 5/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 5/10 

Overall Package- 6.5/10     

Total: 61/100

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