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"History is written by those who hang heroes." If this statement holds true, King Edward I wrote history over six hundred years ago. After capturing William Wallace, King Edward publicly tortured and executed the leader of a Scottish rebellion against the English monarchy. The history that was written by this crude act was far different than that which Edward expected however. These actions toward the rebellion leader only fueled the flame that Wallace had kindled in the spirits of the common Scot over his short lifetime. Throughout Wallace's life he inspired thousands of Scottish men to rise up against the authority and fight for the one thing in life that he felt is more important than any other, their freedom. Wallace's life story has given the Scots something to be proud of, and now has even gained the attention of America through the outstanding movie Braveheart. For a movie to truly be considered great there are four elements that it must possess. These elements are good acting, mood setting music, an attention consuming plot, and a theme that sticks out in the audience's mind for days to follow. For Braveheart or any other movie to be successful, it is a necessity for these four traits to be carried out to their fullest potential.
Mel Gibson played the part of William Wallace in Braveheart. He was the perfect actor for the part. One characteristic Gibson possessed that other actors may not have been able to was his rough and far from clean-cut exterior. He came across as someone who probably did not have the conveniences of a haircut every other week or a nice clean shave in the mornings like we have today. Gibson also studied the Scottish accents and slang so he could recreate the time and location to the best of his ability.
Gibson's supporting cast was also a key factor that made the acting in Braveheart successful. From the Incredibly convincing acting of the villain Kind Henry I to the role of the confused Scottish nobleman Robert Lebruse, there was not a part anywhere in the movie that could have been altered to make the movie any more realistic. Any audience who really sits and pays attention to Braveheart is sure to be fully convinced that they are in the late 1200's to early 1300's and are witnessing first-hand everything that they see before them.
The music in Braveheart did a brilliant job of setting the tone of the movie. Towards the beginning when Wallace was a farmer and did not plan on fighting, soft sounding flutes and bagpipes gave the movie a feeling of peacefulness. From the time of the murder of Wallace's wife through the point when Wallace was taken prisoner, however, the music continuously sped up and a more up-tempo pace began to emerge. During battles background music would contain drums, and which would beat faster and faster as the battles would progress. The music in Braveheart had the ability to make a person feel sad, angry, or even lonely. The producers of this movie could not have chosen music which contained a stronger affect on the viewer's emotions than that which they chose.
Even though this movie was longer than most of Hollywood's biggest hits at over three hours, it somehow kept the viewer's interest throughout the entire movie. The way they achieved this impressive feat was simply through the plot of the movie. Braveheart seemed to put the viewer into the life of William Wallace. It did a phenomenal job of summing up years and years of frustration, anger, lies, and unfair deaths experienced by the Scots. This story continues to have a great impact on people today because all around the world people are still fighting for their freedom just like the people of Scotland did during the time of William Wallace. A key factor in obtaining an affective plot, however, is a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. As Wallace lied on the platform being tortured for his efforts to bring freedom to his fellow Scots, he looked into the eyes of a small child in the audience as if to tell him that it was all worthwhile and that the war is
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William Wallace, Wars of Scottish Independence, Anti-English sentiment, Braveheart, Mel Gibson
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