May 24, 1995
This movie was one of those that I remember my grandmother frequently watching when I was young, however I had never found any reason to watch it myself. A month or so ago it was on T.V. and I decided that since I had nothing better to do I would watch this film…finally.
The story told had all the makings of an epic drama – man falls in love, man loses love, man goes to war in an effort to get retribution for his lost love and in doing so becomes the leader of a revolution. I’m not a Mel Gibson fan, but I loved his portrayal of William Wallace here. He was equal parts angry, passionate, and committed to his cause. There are so many scenes that vividly stand out to me from this film – the great clash of armies on the battlefield, Mel Gibson with his blue painted face, and the death scene just to name a few. Everything looked beautiful – being primarily filmed in Scotland and Ireland the setting sure felt absolutely evocative of the world these events transpired in.
Oh and just to mention, this movie is quite violent - in the medieval style, but violent none the less.
This film is said to be loosely based on the poem The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie. That being said, those epic poems told by the minstrels and poets were always elaborated on with creative license for the sake of entertainment, and I think it is in that light that this film should be viewed. Now, I have absolutely no knowledge about the uprising of William Wallace and the Scots against the English King Edward I, so I can’t speak to that end myself. According to various websites, they played loose and fast with the history. This was actually the first time I had ever heard of the man, but have since seen him popping up in various places. If nothing else, it led me to go and look up more about his man and his time.
However, all of this still turned out to be a fabulously entertaining medieval historical drama that I would watch again for sure.
The clip below is one of the iconic scenes of William Wallace leading the men into battle:
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