Braveheart

BraveheartFreedom.

That’s something the Scotts don’t have. They are ruled by corrupt Nobles, who act in the interests of self and pay homage to the king of England, Edward Longshanks. In reward, Longshanks gives them land, with the condition they pay taxes on the piece of property. The Nobles profit, and commoners starve, and so the cycle repeats over and over…

Until one day, when a solider tries to take advantage of his wife, William Wallace stands for it no longer. With bloody vengeance and passion he kills every solider in his town, and takes the life of the noble who treated his wife unjustly.

And so William starts down a path to free Scotland from the King’s tyrannical rule. The King reacts by sending an army of immense proportions to quell this rebellion. William and his men are ready to fight for the freedom of Scotland. No matter what the cost.

And it costs them dearly.

Things I Liked

One opening line in the movie, and is referenced over and over, is this:

“I know you can fight, but it is our wits that make us men.”

I appreciated the view shown, that being able to shoot, out-lift, or fight better than others does not make one a man. It is the wits and heart which show true manhood, and in many instances we see scottish men do so. They outsmart the enemy, are fiercely loyal to their cause, die for one another, and comfort each other.

William Wallace embodies several fine traits, he is full of conviction and passion for his cause. Sadly, it is for the wrong reasons, but we can learn and observe it. I was reminded and asked myself “Am I that passionate for Christ?” He is uncompromising in his values, and doesn’t succumb to bribery like the nobles. He makes many sacrifices for what he believes, and leads others in a manner of compassion and consideration. He is a servant leader, putting others before himself.

Things I didn’t Like

I want to warn you, the content below, while I attempt to put it as tastefully as possible, is still revolting. Read with caution, if at all. I summarize everything in the closing thoughts, so if you don’t want nitty gritty… Skip this. I also reveal quite a bit of plot, but nothing which gives away the ending.

This movie was full of sin, filth, and gruesome things. I was actually quite shocked that so many people recommended this with all the junk in here… I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt they forgot the bad stuff due to it being so bad…

First, the sexual content. William loves a girl in his home village, and without her father’s permission, begins to court her. Over the course of time, they get married in secret. The reason for this is the nobles have been given “Right to the bride’s bed”, and any newlywed would be taken by the noble that same night. In addition, the father does not agree to the marriage.

The wedding night, the camera shows full nudity, waist up, of both William and his new wife kissing. The shot lasts for a few seconds… but it was long enough to see what you could wish to unsee. William also has an adulterous affair with a woman for one night. Only kissing is shown there, but much is implied. William does not make honorable choices when it comes to women, which diminishes his character quite a bit.

Before a battle, all the scottish soldiers reveal themselves to the opposing army. We see nothing there, but soon after they decide to moon the English army too. Many shots of the Scottish’s derrières are shown. I lost count of how many comments with innuendo or crude humor were made. There were dozens.

Next, The body count in this movie rivals any movie I have ever seen. An alternate title of this movie could have been “How many different ways can we kill scottish and english soliders?” There is no way I can list them all… Men are battered, stabbed, slit, crushed, pummeled, disemboweled, amputated, beheaded, shot with arrows, thrown out of building, impaled, trampled… To name a few. Blood flows freely from the wounds inflicted from the swords and maces. The camera never looks away until the damage has been shown to the fullest.

One particularly disturbing scene, a woman’s neck is slit by a lord, and the camera watches her die as the blood again, flows freely. Another man is drawn and quartered in torture, then it is implied he is castrated as means of inflicting more pain. Dead corpses get as much screen time as live ones. One shot shows a barn full of men, women, and children who have been hanged. Another shot shows dead men with deep and bloody wounds. The aftermaths of battle show the ground red with blood, dying men cry out, and we see a few “mercy killings”. Another scene is a solider tries to rape a woman. She fights back and gets away before the damage is done, but we see her slapped and kicked. The man doesn’t fare much better though, as he is bitten, clawed, and slapped.

Profanities are many, pretty much all of em really. God’s name is not taken in vain from where I can remember though. There are many crude jokes and humour regarding bodily functions, or lack thereof.

Closing Thoughts

This movie is rated “R” for intense and graphic violence and sexual content. Indeed, this movie had both.

Why would I watch it then? To be honest many friends and adults, whose opinions I hold in high regard, recommended this movie. They said it was full of courage, the willingness to stand up against what was wrong, and full of other heroic virtues. I expected an honorable movie with a hero worthy of merit. To say I was disappointed, would be a horrid understatement.

Braveheart is a movie of conviction. The conviction of William Wallace to never back down, to never compromise on values, and to live a life not afraid of death…. All in the name of freedom. On the worldly surface this looks great, while taking notes during the movie though, I saw the conviction throughout the entire film being misplaced. William’s conviction is not rooted in honoring Christ, but avenging those he loves and to be free from England. He prays to God not because he loves Him, but because he needs something from Him in order to fulfill his quest. That misplaced conviction led me never to fully root for Wallace.

We can take this idea though, and apply it to our Christian faith. We are to live free in Christ, no longer enslaved by sin and the desire to do and partake of evil things. We are to live uncompromising lives, never flinching of backing down from our loyalty to God and Christ. We are know what we believe and why we believe it, then act on those convictions.

The contrast is clear, when man puts his whole into a country and others first, the results are lacking and empty.

We see that in this movie. We know from history the Scotts achieved freedom, but for what purpose? Not to be able to worship God as they saw fit, but to live better lives. When you get down to it, this movie shows a man full of worldly passion for country and self, and willing do anything he believes necessary to achieve it, deceptively shrouded in the guise and word of “Freedom” by the filmakers. Couple these worldly and self serving motives with the unneeded few seconds of waist up nudity, an adulterous affair, the intensely revolting violence, lack of biblical justification, and more…

I have come to the conclusion Braveheart does show a few commendable qualities, but hardly makes an impact in comparison to the filth and depravity shown.

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    • Mark
    • January 2nd, 2013

    Thanks for this review. Now I know to stay away from this movie. 🙂

  1. This is my favorite movie in everness.

    However, I prefer the edited version. :-b

      • Austin Harrison
      • January 4th, 2013

      Thanks for your comment Gabriel! It always is cool to know people read what is posted. 🙂

      I’m curious, what makes this your favorite? Yes, the edited version would be much better, but what do you like so much about it? Is it a theme? The Hero?

      I’d love to hear why you enjoy it so much. 😎

      • Yes, I love the theme of freedom, the bravery and manliness throughout the film, the excellent art throughout (including the amazing score), and the theme of freedom. Oh, and the theme of freedom was very powerful, too.

        😀

  2. Didn’t care for the brief sex scene (thankfully it’s easy to edit), but the themes of honor, manliness, and conviction are truly powerful. The violence/gore (and to some extent, the language) are pretty realistic to the “brutal medieval warfare” of that time period.

    My main objection to this film – and the reason it’s not a favorite of mine – is the disappointing portrayal of Wallace. I could almost forgive the other historical inaccuracies (including the battle at Stirling Bridge that had no bloody bridge!), but the movie depiction of Wallace is lame. The real Wallace was a noble man, a dedicated warrior, and a devout Christian. The William Wallace of Braveheart moons his enemies on the battlefield, seeks ruthless vengeance against the noblemen who have forsaken his cause, fathers a child by a woman who is not his wife, and his faith is all but nonexistent.

    Not cool.

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