Braveheart Evaluation Essay Essay, Research Paper
Have you ever been at Blockbuster and can t find that perfect action flick that you re looking for? Look no further than the B section of the alphabet and there you will find the historical epic of William Wallace. Braveheart is a movie based on the true story of William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson), a famous Scottish commoner who leads his people in rebellion against the English during the late 1200 s. The movie follows the events of Wallace s life from age eight to death. With its excellent script, realistic scenes, beautiful setting and soundtrack combined with heart-stopping action Braveheart captures the essence of a great epic.
It is hard to sit through a three-hour movie without becoming impatient and bored but the screenwriter, Randall Wallace, with his excellent script keeps your eyes glued to the screen. He does this by playing on human emotions and by incorporating humor. Early in the film Randall introduces us to Stephen. Stephen comes from Ireland to England to join Wallace s army because he wants to kill Englishmen. Stephen provides the comic relief in the film. Through his conversing with the Almighty and witty dialogue the script writer adds an important dimension to the epic. This humor is not out of place but is written perfectly in with the rest of the plot. Randall Wallace does an excellent job of playing on human emotion in the speeches of William Wallace. The most outstanding part of the script by far is William Wallace s speech to his army before a major battle in the film.
Wallace: you have come to fight as free men and free men you are. What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?
Anonymous Soldier: Against that? No, we will run and we will live.
Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die; run and you ll live. At least for a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take away our lives but they ll never take away our freedom!
In Wallace s speech, the writer plays on our human emotion of patriotism and our desire to be a free people, which is the reoccurring theme throughout the movie.
Randall Wallace also does a great job of getting you to hate the English and her tyrannical leader Edward Longshanks. King Edward has a horrible hate for Scotland and a notorious reputation for having no mercy. He jokes saying, The only trouble with Scotland is that it s full of Scots. Immediately after claiming himself King of Scotland he has a peace meeting with all the nobles in Scotland but instead of talking peace he has them all hung from the rafters of the building. Longshanks then enacts prima nocta in Scotland. Giving English soldiers sexual rights to a woman on the first night she is married. He says if he can t wipe them out, he ll breed them out. During one of the battles after Wallace invades England Longshanks sends in the infantry to start the battle and then in the middle of the battle has his archers fire into the middle of the battling mob, killing both Wallace s army and his own men.
Aside from the excellent script another aspect that makes this movie great is the realism. This film is probably one of the goriest films that I have ever watched but it s bloody battle sequences, with all the blood and guts, add to the realism of how much people our willing to suffer in pursuit of freedom or in Wallace s case vengeance. Trying to get Wallace to come forward and give himself up the English make an example out of his wife by slitting her throat in front of the town. Wallace comes back to avenge his wife s death and initiates the first battle sequence. Wallace and the town commoners make their way to the town fort and trap the local magistrate who slit his wife s throat. Wallace takes him down to the middle of the town and slits his throat. You get to see the knife cut and the blood squirt from his neck. This gives you a graphic realization on how far Wallace is willing to go, especially when you see he is unaffected by the gore even when the magistrate falls and gets his blood all over him. On the down side because of this gore I don t think any children under 15 should watch the movie.
What also makes the film so realistic is the wardrobe of the characters. Wallace s army and the rest of the commoners in the film have bad hygiene and are always extremely dirty just as the common people of the 13th century would have been. Their clothes are worn thin and dirty. The only people that would have had nice clothes in the 1200 s would have been royalty. This is also true for this film. The King and the people in his castle are always dressed in elaborately adorned clothes. The armies are also realistically dressed and equipped. The English are dressed in chain mail with metal shields and they have a large cavalry. The men in Wallace s army are dressed in rags, equipped with wooden shields, spears and have almost no cavalry. This realism is accurate to the times and makes the story very believable.
The music and breathtaking setting in the film also adds a phenomenal dimension to the picture. From the Braveheart Theme to the playing at Wallace s father s funeral the bagpipes set the perfect tone and mood for the movie. Using traditional Scottish music instead of a modern alternative soundtrack adds to the grandeur of the times in which the picture takes place. The music is complimented by the beautiful Scottish countryside, which is the setting of the movie. The beginnings of many scenes show long sweeping, panoramic views of the beautiful Scottish mountains and the breathtaking shoreline.
Braveheart, through its great script, fabulous soundtrack and realistic battles captures epic Hollywood perfection. It won 5 Academy Awards in 1995 including, Best Picture and Best Director (Mel Gibson). It will surely retain its place in history as one of the greatest films ever made.