Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Braveheart (1995)

Starring Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau & Patrick McGoohan

Rating 8/10

A dirty old bloodbath. Spit, mud, tar, fire and heaps and heaps of blood. Oh and there’s a story in between. This is Braveheart.

It has been called a ‘historical drama film’ but apparently there’s very little that is historical about it. Loosely based on Scottish hero William Wallace, a little on Robert the Bruce, Prince Edward and King Edward I.

It all begins at the beginning, funnily enough. With a small William Wallace and the death of his beloved dadda. Fast forward a few years and a lot of hair and there we have big William (Gibson) who has returned from his uncle’s estate to woo the girl of his dreams, Murron (Catherine McCormack).

The drama erupts when some soldiers try to take advantage of William’s new wife and he fights back with devastating consequences… and a lot of blood. War is declared on England by the ‘savages’ of Scotland led by our William. This brings all the clans together, but all is not perfect on the Scottish side. There are factions, betrayals, ignorance and confusion.

And then there was England with King Edward I marrying his son the second to the french princess, Isabelle (Marceau). The prince, obviously batting for the other team, so to speak, rolls his eyes and does what his father commands. Eddie I is frustrated with Eddie II and bats him around the ears a little, lashes him with harsh unfeeling words then kills his lover. It seems there’s trouble on every side.

The Scots win a few battles with loads of yelling, blue paint and crudely made weapons. And the English start to panic. Time to pay off a few Scots, methinks. Anyhoo, more blood is shed, more heads cut off, more stabbing and marching sounds, clashing of swords and more and more mud. Then betrayal comes and Wallace is arrested.

The last scene is the most painful and the most poignant. I had to look away a few times. So much blood, pain and dirt! The End.

This is an epic film, there’s no denying it. Gibson did an incredible job, seeing as this was only the 2nd film he’d ever directed (the first was The Man Without a Face). There are a few similarities between this and the later The Passion of the Christ, especially at the end where he sees Murron moving through the crowd.

I think it would have been a better film if it was based on true events, if it had the details right but I will simply choose to view it as fiction. As such it was a brilliant film. A grand, epic story. A victorious story reflecting the ability for humans to overcome evil and injustice with passion and selflessness. Something our society is sorely missing these days.

Braveheart Trivia:

  • Budget – $53,000,000
  • Gibson struggled to raise the money for this venture, so he starred, produced and directed it to save cash. Good move, Gibson, good move.
  • To save a bit more money, the extras in the battle scenes are actually Irish soldiers. They are the same extras in the Scottish and English sides. And some scenes had to be reshot because these unprofessional extras were seen with watches and sunglasses on…
  • Poor old Gibson was criticised by historians and animal activists. The latter were convinced he used real horses until they saw the raw footage.
  • The Battle of Stirling Bridge really took place around a bridge, not on an open plain.
  • Gibson stayed with members of the Wallace clan to learn more about their history.
  • Mechanical horses were used in the battle scenes, propelled by nitrogen cylinders on tracks
  • The Irish actually fought against the Scots on the English side… just sayin’.
  • Robert the Bruce was known as ‘Braveheart’, not William Wallace

Next time we meet, we’re watching one of my fav films, The English Patient. Can’t remember why I liked it so much…

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One comment on “Best Picture – Braveheart (1995)

  1. Pingback: 1995 Oscar Winners | Guide to be a winner

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