6/08/2012

Movie Review: Braveheart

(Sorry for the overly long wait on this review...school, ya know)


Length: 177 mins
Released: 1995
Genre:Drama, War Film, Romance, Action
Rating: R, "brutal medieval warfare"

Directed By: Mel Gibson
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Dad gave it to me)



Braveheart is a retelling of the famous and in some ways infamous, William Wallace. William Wallace is a Scottish rebel who unites the stubborn Scottish clans to stand against the tyranny of England. This is not only a movie about war and blood, but it's also about love, friendship, and fighting for one's freedom. 


William Wallace was born into a time of turmoil and bloodshed and power struggles. This story, even though a little on the long side, will keep you in a trance.


This is a star-studded cast! Mel Gibson (The Patriot, Lethal Weapons) plays the freedom-hungry William Wallace, Patrick McGoohan (Esacpe from Alcatraz, Treasure Plant) as the merciless King Edward I/Longshanks, Brendan Gleeson (Troy, Harry Potter movies, 28 Days Later, Cold Mountain) as the burly but beloved Hamish, Sophie Marceau (A Midnight Summer's Dream, Alex & Emma) as the lovely Princess Isabelle, Tommy Flanagan (Gladiator, Sin City) as Morrison, and so many more. 


Like earlier stated...this is slightly on the long side, but it's so entrancing! From the first minute, you can't take your eyes off the screen. I watched this at 8:30 am and even though I'm exhausted from being awake early with three hours of sleep I don't regret it. Even though I've seen this a couple other times in the past, I find I can appreciate this more. Wisdom and aging gave me more love for this movie. 


At the very beginning they cut out the usual opening credits and just showed the title and did an aerial shot of the Scottish Highlands. It was a wonderful and an ingenious move. The movie isn't about the director or the actors (which turns out the leading man IS the director...I digress...), it's about William Wallace. The man. The legend. It's also about the Scottish trying to win their freedom from the tyrannous hands of Longshanks and past English rulers. 


Without the wonderful actors, writers, and the film crew this movie would have been cheesy and a waste of my time. They blended the romance, warfare, humor, action, drama, and historical facts very well. The balance between all the genres was well done and I bow to writers and director. I find in a lot of these movies, the writers and whatnot try to play on the safe-side I only have a couple of genres at play. However, it takes a great movie maker to blend such a wonderful movie with many different genres and themes. 


I also must give a bow to the costume designers. In many films about medieval times the costumes seem to be a little cheesy and not historical accurate. If you were a commoner, you didn't get the luxury of having nice clothes. You wore clothes until they were pretty much rags. The costume designers, in this film, made me feel like I was watching a documentary secretly filmed! Again....wonderfully done.





There are so many things worth mentioning, but I mostly loved the story. I know there are a lot of historical flubs and errors, buuuuuut I love this movie. I love it as a movie freak, a history buff, a romance-enthusiast, and mostly because it's makes me extremely proud of my Scottish blood. 

Alright...there are a couple things I'm not a fan off. I wasn't too keen on Murron's and William's fast-paced relationship. Yes, yes, I know it was love at first sight, but c'mon! They only courted for a couple of days and then married? Really? I felt like they really rushed their courtship into a couple days. Yes, I know they had to make time for the blood and the "freedom" scenes, but I feel like they should have gave the illusion of a decent love affair between William and Murron. I also wasn't a fan with the ending. Yes...it is the most epic of endings, but I hated it because I have a hard time watching it. It's so hard for me to watch the last ten minutes or so... Don't get me wrong! It's a great way to end the movie! *SPOILER ALERT* I especially love how the had Murron drifting in the crowd and waiting for ax to end William's life and so they can be joined forever and eve. It was lovely and wonderfully done. I just really hated the torture parts. I'm usually good at observing scenes like these, but I have a hard time with this one. I can't explain it *SPOILER END* 

All-in-all this is a wonderful film and I love it even more than when I first watched it! Not only were the costumes, aerial shots, visual effects, acting, and directing were amazing. But the story itself was inspiring and wonderful. I would recommend this to those who love a good story and war movies (it's not for the weak of belly). I will warn though: for historical nazis, this is not the film for you. Hollywood took some liberties with the true story of William Wallace and polished it up. It happens and I accepted that a long time ago. I must grant this one 5 stars; in all reality it would be 4.6 stars, but I don't give decimals. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Hamish, Morrison (he's just a hottie, I can't help myself), William Wallace (obvious one!), Princess Isabelle, and so many others.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Longshanks (evil, evil man! Not even the English liked this cold-hearted son of bit...biscut!), the majority of the Scottish nobles (didn't deserve to have their titles), and the creepy old soldier guy (who says "you remind me of my daughter" and then try to rape them? He was a big creepier and a little bonkers in the head)

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