New Content: Movies That Have Made Me Cry #2
For me not to mock a movie is a rare cinematic feat. For me to not mock a movie while I’m watching it in a theater with other people is damn near impossible. So let me say that Braveheart was one of the rare movies of the last 20 years that I remained utterly silent during. Let us put aside the gross historical inaccuracies of the movie for a moment, don’t worry I’ll be coming back to those. No, let me speak of the theme of the movie and why it stirs emotion in me.
Braveheart is more than just about William Wallace’s fight against Edward I of England. It is about how all people should be able to live free from oppression and tyranny. It almost seems like the writers of the movie were reading heavily of the works of Thomas Jefferson when they wrote the script because it adheres to the notion of the oppressed throwing of the yoke of their oppressors to form a more perfect nation. Well that is almost what it seems like, except the Scottish were trying to get rid of one monarchy in order to install their own equally idiotic monarchy. Mind you I’m not saying the Scots are stupid for going with a monarchy. I’m sayin getting rid of one Divne Right Monarchy just to have your own Divine Right Morchy is just kind of selfdefeating. t is the equivalent of getting your arm chopped off, getting it surgically re-attatched and then going ahead and chopping off the other arm yourself after that.
That isn’t my point though. The point is that the movie is about men living and dying to preserve their freedom and thus in turn their sense of self. When William Wallace is eventually captured and then tortured , we are expereincing a man unkustly having his freedom stripped from him in the worst way, by stripping of the life he wants to live freely. The scene of Wallace’s torture are gripping and when the English Magistrate offers him a quick death in exchange for begging for mercy Wallace’s response is “FREEDOM!”. Wallace would rather be denied life rather than not be free, it is the equivalent of spitting King Edward’s eye. Dying for what you believe in is a very powerful message to send. By killing Wallace, Edward made him way more dangerous as a martyr.
Great stuff but… man oh man, does it take some liberties with history. The biggest dramatic license it takes is with its portrayal of Robert The Bruce. The movie paints the fuure Robert I of Scotland as a man moved by Wallace’s spirit to move against the English. Great, except Wallace and Robert were on opposing sides of Scotland’s politics. Wallace was a firm supporter of the Balliol Clan’s claim to the Scottish throne, while our man Robert The Bruce was pretty much out to make himself king. The Bruce is also partrayed as being a slave to his father’s ambition to make him king. Not exactly true, make no mistake Robert The Bruce was out to become King Of Scotland. He wasn’t so “But Dad, William Wallace is the cooles! He’s like totally awesome and we should totally back him and if we don’t I’ll hate you forever and won’t try out for the football team!” as he is portrayed in the movie. I mean c’mon, when Robert finally betrays Wallace in the movie, he looks so dejected that you half expected him to go home an listen to some Joy Division and write about his feelings in his journal. He is like an inch away from becoming totally Emo and me losing all respect for him. But in the end it is a movie so dramatic license is to be expected.
It is the theme of the movie that is important and not its lack of historical accuracy that matters to me. I leave historical accuracies to historians and people in the SCA who care about such things. So in the ned, the climax of Braveheart is a defining cinematic moment for me. I cry for William Wallace and what he stood for in the movie, That is why Braveheart is my number 2 on the list of “Three Movies That Have Made Me Cry”.