The Unforgettable Braveheart: My DVD Review

(Last Updated On: January 13, 2023)

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Braveheart (DVD) Review

When it comes to epic films, few can compare to Braveheart. Directed by and starring Mel Gibson, this 1995 film captivated audiences with its powerful story of freedom, honor, and courage. It is no surprise then that Braveheart has become a modern classic, ranked as one of the greatest films ever made by critics. Now available on DVD, fans old and new can enjoy revisiting the story of Scottish hero William Wallace in all its glory.

Long before The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson directed another cinematic masterpiece, Braveheart. Filmed against the backdrop of majestic mountains and rolling meadows, it tells the historically-based (yet not entirely accurate) story of William Wallace, a common man’s warrior who led the Scottish people in rebellion against King Edward I, also known as “Longshanks.”

Written by Randall Wallace, an American tourist fascinated with a Scottish statue of his namesake, the script collected dust in Hollywood for over a decade before Gibson decided to put it on the big screen. Just like The Passion, it’s a decision he would not regret.

Set in the 11th Century, Braveheart catalogs the struggle of Scottish serfs who labor under the brutal oppression of English occupation forces. Amidst these terrible conditions, William Wallace (Mel Gibson) falls in love with Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack). Insistent on not sharing his wife (a proclamation by the king gives local rulers “first-night rights” to new brides), Wallace secretly marries Murron.

Nevertheless, an English knight assaults her, sparking a fight with Wallace. Fleeing the village, Wallace believes Murron has escaped and will soon meet him at a secret rendezvous point. But Murron is captured and executed by the king’s emissaries.

Angered by his wife’s murder, Wallace instigates a local rebellion, slaughtering all the king’s loyalists in his village. As his rebellion grows, a distraught Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan) dispatches his fabled Northern Army to destroy it. But the heroic Wallace delivers a stirring speech to rouse his men while deploying an ingenious battlefield trick to defeat the king’s cavalry.

With Wallace’s power and legend growing daily, Longshanks relies on his daughter-in-law, Princess Isabelle (Sophie Marceau), to broker a truce. But Isabelle’s power is limited, and Wallace realizes his people can only win freedom if backed by the Scottish nobles. Their appointed leader is Robert the Bruce (Angus MacFadyen), who vacillates between his idealistic views and his father’s pessimistic pragmatism. Will the nobles join Wallace? Will the Scots win their freedom? Only history tells us the answer…

With elaborate costumes, vivid battle scenes, and a noble hero as its focal point, Braveheart is more than your typical run-of-the-mill action movie. Part history, part Hollywood heroism – its timeless idealism strikes a chord with every viewer. In fact, the movie led to a revival in nationalistic pride that fueled the successful Scottish independence movement of the 1990s.

It’s a testament to the strength and character of the real-life William Wallace. A thousand years later, his enduring legacy transforms the European landscape, and Mel Gibson captures the noble warrior’s passion with an awe-inspiring Academy Award-winning masterpiece.

In conclusion, Braveheart is a must-watch for anyone looking for an epic, inspiring story. Mel Gibson’s direction and performance truly bring the tale of William Wallace and his struggle for Scottish independence to life. The battle scenes are intense and thrilling, while the plot is nuanced and complex, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. While it may be a bit long, the film never gets bogged down and keeps you engaged until its satisfying conclusion.


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