Friday, May 29, 2015

Let's talk about: Braveheart

Last Sunday was the 20th anniversary of the release of the movie Braveheart
When Doug told me that I was so surprised. 1995 doesn't feel that long ago to me. 
We decided to watch it over the weekend to celebrate its anniversary. 

Braveheart was nominated for a lot of Oscars that year. 
It won quite a few of them. 
That year it won Best picture, Best director, Best Cinematography, Best Effects, and Best Makeup. 

I remember the first time I watched this film that I was blown away. 
As you watch the movie, it is obvious why it won those awards. 
The story, while maybe not 100% historically accurate, is great. The music and visual landscapes are outstanding.
This movie is meant to make you feel something. And it does that. It does it well.

Gibson plays William Wallace, a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against English King Edward "Longshanks". 
As a young boy, William Wallace, lost family to the cause of trying to free Scotland. 
When he loses someone very important as an adult, he begins the revolt. 
 He is eventually assisted by Robert the Bruce (an ancestor of my husband!). It is interesting to note that 'Braveheart' was actually the nickname of Robert the Bruce, not William Wallace.

The Screenwriter for the film, Randall Wallace (no relation), came up with the idea for the film while visiting Edinburgh in 1983 when he came across a statue of William Wallace outside Edinburgh Castle. He had never heard of "Scotland's greatest hero" and was intrigued by the stories he was told about him. 
There was very little historical evidence to work with concerning William Wallace's life and Randall Wallace even noted that "even Churchill's definitive work 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples' observed in only a single line that virtually no factual material survives about the Scottish leader."
Because of the lack of information, Randall Wallace relied mostly on a 15th-century poem by the Scottish writer Henry the Minstrel while writing his story. He explained claims of the movie’s historical inaccuracy by saying that the script is only his dramatic interpretation.

Mel Gibson was directing and did not want to play William Wallace. William was supposed to be in his twenties and Mel was nearing 40. But he was told that the movie would not be backed financially if he did not play him. 

I read that Mel Gibson actually brought in members of the Wallace clan as extras and they are standing around him in opening scenes of the battles. I think that is really cool. 

I think that if you go into the movie knowing a little bit about the real history you will see the things that have been changed but you can still have a really enjoyable movie experience. 
I think that they took what they knew and made it what it needed to be at the time to really let us experience the urgency the Scottish were feeling for their independence. 
It is a movie that will make you feel. It is a movie that will inspire you, whether William Wallace really gave that great speech or not. 

(Here is a video of my favorite part of the movie. Do not watch if you have never seen it and do not want to have any spoilers. If you haven't seen the movie and don't plan to, this clip at least is worth your time.)

Be forewarned if you watch the movie that it is rated R for brutal medieval warfare. 
It is quite violent and intense. 

Here is the original trailer: 

*Have you seen Braveheart?
*Did you realize it was twenty years old? 


The Kings said...

No I haven't seen it and probably won't because I heard it was very violent and gory.

cheryl said...

Yes. It is violent. You should at least watch the video of his speech that I posted!