When It Comes To Historical Dramas, They Don’t Make Them Better Than Brave. The 1995 Mel Gibson masterpiece was a hit with critics and moviegoers alike. However, while the film tells a provocative tale of Scottish folk hero William Wallace’s bravery and revolution, it is not 100% historically accurate. Gibson knew this, but it didn’t bother him much. Read on to find out why.
‘Braveheart’ Had Too Many Historical Mistakes
According to Scotsman, many historical inaccuracies were present Brave, Including:
- Edward Longshanks invoked the right to “jus prima noctis” by Edward Longshanks, giving him the right to legally have sex with any woman below his social class. Scholars dispute whether this was actually practiced, citing a lack of evidence.
- The Battle of Stirling Bridge does not depict the actual bridge near which it took place.
- The title “Brave Heart” was used to refer to Robert the Bruce, not Wallace.
- Historians believe that Wallace’s father, killed in the film when Wallace was a boy, may have actually been alive during his rebellion.
Despite being widely loved by most of the audience, not everyone liked the film. in an article for Herald Citing why she didn’t like it, writer Alison Rowat remarked that “the Englishmen in Mel’s Scotland were evil and irreparable and the F-word deserved to suffer and die. Nothing else mattered.”
Why Mel Gibson focused on story and character over history
According to imdbThe film’s screenwriter, Randall Wallace, had little historical knowledge to work with on the film’s theme when writing the screenplay. In fact, in Winston Churchill’s Documented History of Great Britain, history of english speaking people, there is only one line dedicated to him.
Mel Gibson hasn’t listened to the movie’s 100% accurate historical data. He didn’t have a problem with it, he said, “Some people said we messed up history in telling the story. It doesn’t bother me because what I’m giving you is a cinematic experience, and I think movies First to entertain, then to teach, then to inspire.”
He acknowledged that there could be differences of opinion between the story he told and what actually happened, believing that there were historical errors. However, Gibson was not writing the biography. He was making a film. To do this effectively it took some creative license to work on the big screen.
William Wallace was not necessarily a great man in real life
Talking about the accuracy of the film, Mel Gibson said that the Scottish legend was probably not the best man, noting, “Everything I read about him was not as good as he was in the film.”
He said that he “romanticized” the historical figure to make him more sympathetic and liked by the audience. Gibson went a step further and called Wallace a “monster” and would refer to someone the Vikings would refer to as “fearless”. Gibson acknowledged that he needed to portray Wallace as the film’s “good guy” and approached him with that bias in mind.
The truth is that it was Gibson’s responsibility to tell the story in the best way for the medium he was working in. Hollywood movies are designed to tell stories with precision, and Gibson had to conform to that in some ways that were inevitable. . That is, changing history when needed.
This is not to say that Gibson’s approach was formulaic. Quite the opposite – he won the Oscar for Best Director, so clearly, all he was doing was working.
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