braveheart film review

brave heart

Brave heart is a moving film about Scotland’s brutal battle for independence and freedom. It is an emotionally charged historic epic filled with passion, betrayal and courage and the director Mel Gibson clearly makes this known to the audience.

Mel Gibson plays William Wallace a local farmer, who falls in love with a beautiful woman called Moron, played by Catharine McCormack. Moron gets brutally murdered causing him to fight for his country and gain freedom for Scotland. After his death his name becomes legendary in Scotland and this is what leads them to win their freedom!

Straight from the start you know this film is about a savage period of British history and you know that it is going to show what it was really like before Scotland had its independence. You can tell this because about 10 minutes into the film William walks into a barn full off bodies hanging from the ceiling this creates a sense of injustice and makes you understand his hatred for the English.


Mel Gibson also cleaverly uses sound effects and the moving through different pictures to create tension thorughout some of the scenes. He especially uses this when William is coming back to find his wife who sadly  has been brutally murdered. Theres no noise apart from the heavy  brathing of the horse and of its footsteps in the mud. Also he doesn’t keep the camera on one thing it flicks between pictures creating more tension because you don’t know what is going on and you can’t predict what is going to happen.


Throughout the film Mel Gibson has used a lot of different camera shots to capture thoughts and feelings from the audience. He especially does this in the fighting scenes. At the start of each battle when they are running towards each other he has them in slow motion, this makes it that much more realistic because you can see every expression and movement they do. He also has the camera zoom out and look on from above so you can see the whole battle. This makes you feel more involved in the film because you can see exactly what is going on from both sides.


Besides all the fighting, Braveheart is a very romantic film. This might make it sound a bit odd because the film is mainly about a gory and brutal fight between the English and the Scottish; but Braveheart makes it work perfectly, mainly because the characters play their roles so well. The film is bookended with two love stories. At the beginning is the love story beyween Wallace and Moron and near the the end there is Wallace’s second romantic attachment with Princess Isabel. Both are very moving and romantic, giving you a break from all the fighting and creating a different sort of emotion to that you experience whilst watching the battle scenes.


Mel Gibson, who has only directed one other film before (‘The man Without a Face), hit the mark completely with this film. It was a best seller back in 1995 when it first came out and people are still buying it and enjoying it today. Besides being a superb love story, he has created some magnificant battle scenes. He has got the balance just right between the romance and violence. Some might say that this film jumps from the true historical background too much and doesn’t exactly tell the truth about what it was like. This is true, but does it matter?  Of course not!  This film was made too entertain and excite people and that is exactly what it has done and if it gets people interested, albeit just a little, in Scottish and English history then it has done a good job.

~ by hmsteel on January 30, 2011.

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