The other night, my husband channel-surfed and landed on Braveheart, which I missed seeing at the time it was released (a) because it wasn’t anything that interested me then and (b) because it came out when I was in law school, a time in which I was blissfully oblivious to all around me but the continuing saga of Blackacre and John Doe’s valiant attempts to preserve it for his male heirs. (Now there’s a movie someone needs to make: Blackacre.)
Once I became interested in the reign of Edward II, however, I did have some interest in seeing Braveheart, though this quickly evaporated when I found out how historically inaccurate it was. Nonetheless, I was curious enough to come into the living room the other night to see the last half of the movie. So here at last, is my report.
I can’t see why the moviemakers bothered creating a love interest between “Princess Isabella” and William Wallace–it didn’t add much to the story except to give Isabella a chance to whisper a spiteful farewell to the dying Edward I about Edward II not being the father of the child she was carrying. She could have done the same thing by whispering, “Longshanks, when I get the chance I’m going to bump your son off the throne, and it’s not going to be pretty.”
Gory as this movie was supposed to be, I thought Mel Gibson stayed remarkably well-groomed during his execution and the prelude to it. When the crowd threw rubbish at him, for instance, it didn’t seem to mar his appearance in the slightest.
My favorite part, however, was the very end, when Robert Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn gives an inspirational message to his troops while the English army facing him patiently wait for the Scots to start the battle. How gentlemanly of them.
Still, I’ll have to admit the whole thing was pretty moving–it made me feel a twinge of Scottish patriotism, even though the only true Scotsman in our family is our cairn terrier. But it would have been a much better movie if all the nonsense had been left out.