8:00 PM, 21st March, 2001
Braveheart is an epic about William Wallace, the legendary Scots warrior who led his nation into battle against the English around 1300. Not much is actually known about Wallace except that according to an old epic poem, he unified the clans of Scotland and won famous battles against the English before being captured, tortured, and executed as a traitor. Braveheart tells of this mythological warrior.
It is often seen as an egotistical gesture when actors direct themselves, especially in heroic epics costing several million dollars and dragging on for hours (my regards to Mr Costner). But Gibson marshals his armies of extras, his stunt men and his special effects, and creates a fictional world that is entertaining and thrilling. This film is usually remembered for the battle scenes, which are frequent, bloody, and violent. Just from a technical point of view, Braveheart does a brilliant job of massing men and horses for large-scale warfare on film. And as Braveheart, Gibson plays his role with flamboyance. He is an amazing battlefield strategist, inventing new strategies and weapons, outsmarting the English at every turn, leading his men into battle with his face painted blue, like a football fan.