“Sons of Scotland, I’m William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my country. Here in defiance of tyranny you’ve come to fight as free men. And free men you are! What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?” asked William Wallace (Mel Gibson) in front of Scots armies before they fight to English.
“No! No! No!” they answered. “Against that? No! We will run and we will live,” the said.
“Aye. Fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live. At least a while and dying in your beds many years from tomorrow,” yelled Wallace. “For one chance, just once chance, to comeback here and tell our enemies that they take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom.”
All the armies looked at Wallace in silent. Then they yelled optimistic. They fight to English passionate and won for the battle.
That was one of the scenes of Braveheart (1995) a film directed and staring by Mel Gibson. The scene was impressed me much. Braveheart made me felt in love with the Scots hero in a moment, although I never know William Wallace before. I love his half painted face, his long blonde hair, and his passion to be free man. In my mind William Wallace was a savage warrior but a romantic man.
When I went to the UK in 2007, I was surprised by my friend’s photos. She took pictures of a man who worn costume like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. “I must go there and meet him,” I said hopefully.
Then I joined a small package tour to Stirling visited castles and the Wallace Monument. Stirling is a small and quite village. The breathtaking views of Scotland highlands bringing me back to the scene of Braveheart. Visiting Stirling made me imagining the battle in the year of 1296.
But I was so disappointed when I found the statue of Sir William Wallace in Stirling is different from Mel Gibson’s portrayed. The image of Sir William Wallace was not as savage as in the film. He was moustached, bearded, and has no long hair.
Then I realized that as a film director, Mel Gibson has his own imagination about Sir William Wallace. He has to create a heroic man and dramatically story of the battle. And as usual, Hollywood movies are romantic. Although Braveheart was a historical epic but it was romantic too. See how Wallace (Mel Gibson) was holding a handkerchief from his wife when he was dying.
This film got some critique by some Scottish. They said that this film was inaccurate and grossly distorted. For example, Gibson didn’t capture the bridge of Stirling where the Scotsmen won the battle whereas it’s an important part of the history of Scotsmen independence.
I think it’s a problem of historical epic film making. But, whatever, Braveheart was an international success. It won 5 Oscars, another 15 wins, and 20 nominations.