These days, I have been hearing news about Scotland’s independence referendum, and hence it’s time to remember the 1995 epic historical drama war film Braveheart. Directed and produced by none other than Mel Gibson, this film went on to win five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Although historians may debate about the historical accuracy of the content, Braveheart in true sense justifies the emotion of Scottish people in the British Empire. Mel Gibson plays the central character of Scottish patriot William Wallace who led his army against the English army in the late 13th century.
Upon hearing news about the latest referendum, I wanted to read a few pages on the history of Scotland but to my understanding, I did not find anything concrete in relation to William Wallace. However, I read an article that referred to a poem in which Wallace was mentioned as a great Scot who unified different clans and won wars against British invaders.
Now talking more about the story of the film, Braveheart is more about the life story and struggle of Wallace who after witnessing the murder of his father and brother by English men went to France with his uncle, but only to return later to wage a war against British Empire.
In fact, Wallace returned to Scotland to start a family and settle down peacefully but the cruelty of local English lords forced him to take up arms. After Wallace’s wife was attacked and killed by local noblemen, Wallace led a small group of men to massacre a number of English soldiers at a nearby fort. As time passed by, more and more commoners joined him on the battlefield to beat the English army.
Braveheart does have its fair share of drama with the presence of England’s cruel King Edward and also a very beautiful French Princess. The film also in certain sense shows a romantic angle between Wallace and the French Princess. Overall, even if it’s entirely fictional, the film is a very interesting story to watch with drama, romance, gore, Scottish glory, and a man – in reality, or myth doesn’t matter – who is termed as the savior of Scotland.
Directed by Mel Gibson
Written by Randall Wallace
Based on “The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace” by Blind Harry
Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, and Catherine McCormack, among others.
Music by James Horner
Cinematography John Toll
Release Date/Year: May 24, 1995