Oscars Challenge #69: Braveheart (1995) Movie Review
Like many other historical biopics, Braveheart has been deemed by many historians as the one with the most spectacular but the least when depicting real-life events. Even with the vast array of practical effects and artists, this film has been described as one of the most inaccurate movies ever.
Despite its fair share of controversies, Braveheart might have won because it brought so many possibilities, such as making war movies entertaining or new technologies introduced that innovated filmmaking.
But was entertainment enough to be ranked one of the best of all time?
The movie follows the tragic story of William Wallace during the era of the tyrannical King Edward I. As a child, Wallace witnessed the king's wrath by executing several Scottish nobles, including his father and brother. His uncle, Argyle, took him in to educate and care for him.
Many years passed, and William Wallace is now a full-grown warrior. He marries his childhood friend, Murron, in secret. However, a group of soldiers invaded their village, and just as he tried to rescue her wife, she was captured and executed. Wallace and other warriors retook an English garrison and proclaimed rebellion against King Edward I. As his army grew in size, when more people join in to overtake the tyrant's oppression, he grew wary about some of his men getting bribed and betraying him to fight against his cause.
The movie Braveheart was directed and starred Mel Gibson as William Wallace. It also features the talents of Sophie Marceau, Angus Macfadyen, and Patrick McGoohan.
Dissecting Braveheeart is quite tricky because of its flaws and good moments. How they portrayed the Scottish figure with fake Irish accents made the entire film experience uncomfortable. I am not familiar with Scottish culture or if that was staged when they depicted their warfare, clothing, and rituals.
It's not a surprise that the film did not have any acting nominations because I think they did a terrible job. It's not the worst movie acting-wise, but there were some not-so-well-executed scenes. Maybe I am just looking slightly more because its runtime is below three hours.
What makes this film quite enjoyable is the action and experience. First, the set design of all those ruins, castles, and small fortresses was terrific. If you include the costumes they used depicting the warriors of both the Scottish and English armies, they are all well done. The skirmishes are also good if you compare them with other films during this era.
Braveheart sacrifices history by trying to be entertaining. It soothes the taste of those who want spectacle more than those who want to feel its story. It may not be for the history-savvy people, but it piques your attention to research more on the life of William Wallace.
That is why I think Braveheart should be taken with a grain of salt.
It doesn't force itself to be accurate but tries to redeem itself by being a blockbuster hit. I think it deserves all its popularity, but seriously, I'd pick Apollo 13 to be the better winner.
A good 3 out of 5 stars.