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Continuing with reviews of historical movies with a royal theme I bring you the review of Brave Heart. I wrote this review a few years ago. I hope you enjoy it!

I want to preface this review by stating my educational background is in European history so this is a subject on which I have some understanding. Also, I’m a big fan of movies and I generally enjoy historical films. I also understand that many of the negative reviews of this film, though not all, stem from the historical inaccuracies of the movie. Yes, this film is not historically accurate and as an historian I do not have a problem with that. I reconcile this apparent contradiction by viewing the movie Braveheart as historical fiction and nothing more. There seems to be a double standard in regards to historical fiction. There are many historical novels out on the market that are not always historically accurate, and yet, I do not hear much, if any, backlash about that. So Hollywood’s dramatization of historical events carries the majority of the criticism. One of the things I like about historical movies is their ability to bring to life long forgotten time periods. I often tell people to enjoy the movies, don’t gather your historical information form them, and let the movies encourage your own efforts to learn about the true historical events.

With that out of the way, I feel Braveheart is a wonderful example of old fashioned epic storytelling. You have an underdog hero who overcomes immense hardship and adversity to make a huge impact on his world. Although the main character himself does not succeed in a literal sense of the word, he becomes a larger than life legend and a symbol for freedom and independence. This movie has much to entertain. It is loaded with romance, intrigue, betrayal, rivalries, drama, beautiful scenery, and epic and garish battle scenes. Although all of the actors were excellent, I want to specially mention Patrick McGoohan, who did a superb job depicting the ruthless King Edward I of England. He almost steals the whole movie. I really enjoyed David O’Hara as Stephen, the Irish Fighter, he provided some great lines of comic relief. This movie is an almost return to the epic movies of the 50s with updated special effects and it is very entertaining. So forget the historical inaccuracies and just enjoy the movie at face value: a great action and adventure movie.

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