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Braveheart (1995) review

Posted : 3 years, 9 months ago on 23 November 2015 04:24

if I weren't such a huge critic of movies, I would have given this a higher rating...
let I say first that I have a hard time finding the "entertainment" value in seeing people exploited, abused, oppressed, etc. in any way. although I understand that this movie is a fictional depiction of historical events, I found it disturbing because of my attitudes toward people(s) being forced to do things in order to survive.
I thought it was well acted and relatively fast-paced (aside from the fight scenes that were WayTooLong) and was an informative work in depicting the plight of the Scots" during that time in history...

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Braveheart (1995) review

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 18 January 2014 08:54

Mel Gibson's finest directorial work. I love the music, characters, and the way it's told visually is breathtaking.

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An overrated movie

Posted : 7 years, 11 months ago on 18 October 2011 07:00

I already saw this movie but since it was a while back and since I had it on DVD, I was quite eager to check it out again. In fact, the first time I saw it was in the theater when it was released more than 20 years ago. Well, to be honest, even though it has a rather stellar reputation, I always had some rather mix feelings about this flick. I mean, I have to admit it, it is in fact quite entertaining but I don't think it was such a masterpiece though. Above all, it could have been more interesting if they gave us a more balanced portrait of William Wallace and the English. Indeed, all the English characters were pretty mean and King Edward I was so evil that he pretty much became a cartoonish villain. Concerning William Wallace, they tried to convince the viewers that the guy was a simple average Scotsman but he had been abroad, spoke several languages, he was a great warrior and apparently an expert military strategist. Hardly what you could call an 'average' dude. Furthermore, the fact that Mel Gibson was maybe 20 years too old to play this character and the fact that the whole thing was seriously inaccurate historically didn't help much either. Finally, pretty much all the scenes involving his relationship with a French princess were just so far-fetched and ridiculous. Anyway, even if I’m not a huge fan, it is still worth a look though since there were some impressive battle scenes and, if you like Mel Gibson, you should definitely watch it but, in my humble opinion, it must be one of the most overrated movies ever made.

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Braveheart (1995) review

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 8 November 2010 09:49

CORAÇÃO VALENTE - No século XIII, soldados ingleses matam mulher do escocês William Wallace (Mel Gibson), bem na sua noite de núpcias. Ele resolve então liderar seu povo numa vingança pessoal que acaba deflagrando violenta luta pela liberdade.

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Braveheart (1995) review

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 11 April 2010 01:46

They may take away our lives, but they'll never take away - our FREEDOM!!

Many thought that Mel Gibson's decision to star and direct the 1995 movie "Braveheart:, the story of the Scottish rebel William Wallace, was too bold. Some even thought it would sink into film industry oblivion, a topic of taboo for most film critics to even think about. But Gibson proved the gambler and gave audiences worldwide an epic feast: his movie garnered the coveted 'Best Picture' award at the 1995 Academy Awards, as well as the 'Best Director' award for himself, thus proving his acting and directing ability (try seeing "Apocalypto"; it may not be in English, but the way the story is told is enough to keep you riveted to the screen. Besides, there are English subtitles to guide you.).
The movie begins with a narration by actor Angus MacFadyen, who plays the sixth Robert of Bruce, one of the strong contenders for the crown of Scotland. It is through his memory that the tale of William Wallace (Gibson) is told. William was a young boy when the King of England, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan), called a peace offering for all the Scottish landlords. They were set to meet in a barn, with only a page in attendance. William's father, Malcolm Wallace (Sean Lawlor) and older brother, John Wallace (Sandy Nelson) were all set to attend, but when they got there, they found all the landlords and their pages hanging from the rafters. Because of that, they gathered an army and attacked the English forces. In the battle, William?s father and older brother were killed.
During the funeral, a little girl noticed William standing over the graves of his father and brother. Moved by pity, she gives him a purple flower before leaving. Their relationship won't blossom until many years later. William was taken care of by his Uncle Argyle Wallace (Brian Cox), who taught him a great many things.
When William returned, it was during the time when Longshanks had proclaimed prima noctre , the right of every English noble to bed a newly married Scottish woman on the night of her wedding. This was his attempt to stop the increase in the Scottish population ("If we can't stamp them out, we breed them out."). Also, Longshanks oldest son Edward, the Prince of Wales (Peter Hanly) was already married to the French princess Isabelle (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of Longshanks' rival. However, the king notes a rather close friendship between his son and one of the courtiers, Phillip (Stephen Billington), so he plans to impregnate Princess Isabelle if his son cannot.
At the wedding of one of the Scottish couples in his land, William sees a familiar face; the young girl who had given him the purple flower years ago is now a beautiful young woman: Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack). A mutual attraction quickly develops between the two, and despite the refusal of Murron's father (Sean McGinley) to allow Wallace to court his youngest daughter, the two secretly get married.
Unfortunately their marriage is brief, when one English soldier (and a really scraggly one at that) attempts to rape Murron in the marketplace and Wallace defends her. During the struggle, Murron falls off the horse meant to take her to a secret place and is tied to a wooden post by the lord of their land to force Wallace to show himself. The lord slits Murron's throat to aggravate Wallace even further, and when he does show himself, all the English soldiers and the lord are killed.
The events that follow end up in the formation of the massive Scottish army, their many triumphs against the British (and even French) forces, the knighting of Wallace as the defender of Scotland, and the rift among the Scottish nobles. Wallace is closely aided by his childhood friend, Hamish Campbell (Brendan Gleeson), the wacky Irishman Stephen (David O'Hara), Morrison (Tommy Flannigan), the groom whose bride was taken by the lord under the premises of fulfilling prima noctre and Campbell (James Cosmo), Hamish's father.
In an attempt to secure peace with Wallace and save his other states from being sacked and pillaged, Longshanks sends Princess Isabelle to offer Wallace terms of peace: lordship, titles, and lands of his own. Wallace refuses the king's terms, saying that he never forgot Longshanks' notion of peace. In time, Wallace and Princess Isabelle form a secret affair, and when Wallace is finally caught and sentenced to death by means of torture and then beheading, the princess gives him a potion that would numb his senses and therefore make him feel no pain when he is being tortured. He pretends to drink the potion for her sake, but spits it out as soon as she leaves the prison cell.
As Longshanks lies dying in his bed (while Wallace is being tortured in the scaffolding below his window), Princess Isabelle reveals to him the biggest blow of all: that a child is growing in her womb and it is not the child of Longshanks' son, but the child of William Wallace; a child that will one day rule the whole of England.
The movie is a nonstop thrill ride, from the euphoria of the Scots going to battle against the British forces (the cheeky blighters even mooned the Brits!), the heartbreaking love story of William Wallace and Murron MacClannough, the obvious homosexual tendencies of the Prince of Wales; heck, even Longshanks himself is amusing to watch especially when dealing with his coward son. You may not be a fan of battle epics (the uncut version of the movie has very graphic fight scenes), but I'm sure this one will definitely change your perspective on these type of movies.
Kudos to Mel Gibson and the entire cast and crew of the movie for a stellar job.

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Mel Gibson's epic masterpiece!!

Posted : 9 years, 6 months ago on 10 March 2010 02:54

This film really touched me because of the upsetting twist that occurs with William Wallace and his wife when his wife is murdered by a group of English soldiers. This affects Wallace's life forever and he sort of becomes like obsessed with war and wanting to get like revenge on the English for what happened to his wife and also to the Scots people too. This film taught me a lot that some wars are for a ridiculous and a heartless reason which is what WWII was like. It's like Adolf Hitler was killing innocent people who had done nothing wrong at all. Well, I am English but in 14th century, I admit the English were cold hearted bastards. This film sort of made me feel ashamed in slight ways that I am British but there are some other reasons why I am proud to be British. This film really inspired me because it teaches us about freedom and not to treat people with such disrespect.

Mel Gibson delivers a satisfactory performance as William Wallace. I personally believe that Mel Gibson is better as a director rather than an actor. Mel Gibson really looked great as William Wallace but I wish his acting was better. He did act a very fierce and deadly man but I personally dont think he acted very emotional to his character. William Wallace's character is very similar to Gladiator's Maximus Decimus Meridius. I liked Sophie Marceau too as Princess Isabelle.

Mel Gibson has become a really good filmmaker after he has made two amazing epic films. I loved Braveheart and Apocalypto. I find the make-up in this film very similar to the make-up in Apocalypto. I find that the action was quite similar apart from that this is a war film and that Apocalypto isnt.

This film has become one of the greatest epic and war films of all time as well as one of the greatest history/biography films of all time. It is certainly on my list of that. This film shows us how some people may react to losing someone/something that you love so dearly that you could die for. This film achieved a lot of things for me that every epic film must need but the only disappointing thing for me was the acting. Braveheart will always have its rightful place as one of the greatest epic and war films of all time just like other similar epics like Gladiator, Troy and 300.

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Freedom Forever!

Posted : 9 years, 10 months ago on 6 November 2009 03:42

''It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom.''

William Wallace, a commoner, unites the 13th Century Scots in their battle to overthrow English rule.

Mel Gibson: William Wallace

Braveheart is a story blessed with many endearing nobilities and notions, but more than anything a dual sense of honour and liberty: on the one side William Wallace, a legendary figure who accomplished the impossible by leading the Scots when no one else would; and on the other hand Mel Gibson, who demonstrated with this movie a directorial talent that many of us doubted. Previously, I had Mel labeled as a likable albeit type-cast action hero from series such as Mad Max or Lethal Weapon. His dual personality never indicated a passion for directing, an intensely romantic and dramatic epic. The Man Without a Face proved that Gibson could direct a good film, Braveheart proved that he could direct a great one.

Gibson's greatest achievement in Braveheart (besides the mesmerising battle sequences) is that he invoked excellent performances from the entire cast: every actor and actress (even those who appear for only a few moments) hits exactly the right mark. In fact, I'm outraged that Braveheart received no Oscar nominations for its acting: Why honour Gibson as Best Director of 1995, yet ignore the performances which are the fruits of his labours? I'm not saying that any particular person in Braveheart (Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, Angus McFadyen) should have won an acting Oscar, it's the fact that nobody was even nominated that bothers me.

I am aware that this film is at times historically inaccurate: Even in 1995, when I first saw Braveheart, I knew enough military history to know that the battles of Sterling and Falkirk were not being accurately presented. But this awareness did not and does not interfere with my enjoyment of the movie, because Braveheart exists outside the borders of history: mirroring the same artistic license as Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood, The Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator and The Three Musketeers, it is an emotionally rich epic inspired by history yet not confined to it's chains, less concerned with accuracy to every detail than with the eternal struggles of good and evil, love and hatred, freedom and oppression. And isn't that enough? Braveheart is one of the most stirring films of storytelling: If you can't reconcile yourself to its inaccuracies and simply enjoy it on its own terms, then maybe you are missing the point.

Patrick McGoohan's performance as Longshanks has, in my opinion, not received nearly enough praise: He masterfully plays the king as a man who embodies the phrase 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'; he commands an entire nation, yet covets what he does not or cannot have. He answers to no one, and can barely restrain himself: he does not even try to conceal his contempt for his homosexual son, his lust for his daughter-in-law, his rage against any obstacle to his will. The performance is also physically impressive. We see the king gradually consumed by tuberculosis through the movie, and McGoohan makes the ordeal so believable that, though Longshanks is unrepentant to the end, we are moved to feel remorse for him in spite of everything.

Besides McGoohan, Angus McFadyen (as Robert the Bruce) gives the most impressive performance in Braveheart. When I first saw the movie, I identified with William Wallace; but now I identify with Robert the Bruce, who is in fact the key figure of the story. He is not a great man like Wallace, but he wants to be great, and he idolizes Wallace so much that he is almost overwhelmed to hear Wallace tell him "If you would lead us, I would follow you." But the Bruce is warned by his sly, leperous father (played unforgettably by the late Ian Bannen beneath Oscar-winning makeup) to not live a life of action, but rather a life of calculation. As he wrestles with the dual influences of Wallace and his father, he embodies a theme at the movie's heart: the eternal conflict between youth and age, idealism and cynicism, uncompromising heroism and craven opportunistic nature.

When I first saw Braveheart, I was most impressed by the power of its battle sequences; after seven years, I am most impressed by the enduring power of its story. It is a great movie because it seriously argues that one man's lifelong personal experiences and struggle can make a difference, if not in the world then at least in the lives of others, it is a great movie because it is ultimately an inspiring story of perseverance in the face of considerable brutality and heartbreak, greatness because a thousand words are not adequate to express all of its emotional power and impact. I do not have the heart to give Braveheart less than a perfect score, even if I wished, because it is much more to me than mere entertainment...It is a constant reminder to me that I must never lose heart, to stand up for what one believes in, to be true to ones self.

"You have bled with Wallace...now bleed with me!"

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Braveheart (1995) review

Posted : 11 years, 10 months ago on 15 November 2007 11:05

There's nothing better than a film about true and proper WARRIORS. Even if the facts are a bit mixed up and the whole thing reeks of historical inaccuracy, this is a thoroughly entertaining film...and I'm English! I have no doubt that the English were arseholes back in the day, domineering conquerors aren't always the nicest of chaps, so it's lucky Wallace was there to put us in our place.

Epic battle scenes, a great soundtrack and many a tear-jerking moment. Of course, the ending of the film sends two or three shivers down my spine. Not a happy film by any stretch of the imagination, but one that everyone should see.

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