Personally, I liked the film "Braveheart" as a whole, although it did not catch on. But I've always wondered what the Scots themselves think of this film full of historical details and a certain pride in the courage and determination of the Scots.
Since the first time I saw the film directed by Mel Gibson starring Mel Gibson, I have learned about several positions, but clearly only one prevailed. And in my opinion, the most interesting one was described by one guy from Glasgow named Matt. His comparisons are incomparable, so I will try to convey what he said in the first person ...
Matt from Glasgow on Braveheart
In fact, I think this movie is just awful. To be honest, only three things can be called reliable in this “work”. First, there was the country of Scotland. The second was the country of England. And third, there was a man in Scotland named William Wallace. Unfortunately almost everything else is wrong.
Take the iconic blue face paint inspired by the scriptwriters from Roman sources about Caledonia. In the context of the XIV century, this paint is outdated that way by 1200 years. With this approach, it would be more logical to issue combat helicopters and night vision devices to the English army to track down rebels, or to arm the Scots with lightsabers and missile systems.
The film annoys me not only because of the spit on real historical details. In fact, it contains some kind of racist approach both to the English, who are depicted in the picture as ruthless medieval Nazi stormtroopers, and, ironically, to the Scots, who look like primitive, warlike barbarians living in a state of some noble savagery, while in reality Scotland was about the same level of development as England.
It's amazing to me how many people around the world really believe that Scotland really was like in the movie "Braveheart". Moreover, some believe that it largely remains so now! I meet Americans who are simply amazed to learn that we have cities and supermarkets, that Scotland is not all about quaint, dirty streets of small mountain villages, fights with each other over sheep, and showdowns related to clan interests.
When I say that I grew up in a large metropolitan area with a population approaching 2 million and probably one of the centers of the Industrial Revolution and transatlantic trade, I am saying that I had electricity in the city long before it appeared in some American cities, they just giggle in disbelief.
This strange notion of Scotland as a medieval highland heath roamed by herds of sheep is largely cultivated by movies like Braveheart. Let's face it. "Braveheart" and "Highlander" - this is what the vast majority of people living outside of Scotland have seen and learned about Scotland.
It's amazing how many people around the world I've met whose first reaction to being Scottish was to tell me something "important" from Braveheart, emphasizing a "deep knowledge" of Scottish history. Then, as a rule, there was an attempt to somehow connect it with the topic of independence, and then words of admiration for my ancestors with blue paint on their faces. I am a reserved person by nature, but here I want to spit, turn around and leave.
Neither my grandfather, nor my great-grandfather, nor my great-great-grandfather, and so on, ever smeared their faces with blue paint, and the family had nothing to do with sheep breeding.
I've met so many people, from Romanians to Californians, whose only source of information about Scotland seems to be the damn Braveheart. I am a moderate supporter of Scottish independence. But this is a difficult question and should not be reduced to a cry of "Freedom!" before running somewhere to behead the first Englishman that came to hand.
In short, I'm not a Braveheart fan. This is a colorful, but a bit silly film, which, as it turned out, disproportionately its content, influenced the perception of Scotland in the world. This is all a little ironic, given that it's an American film starring an Australian and filmed mostly in Ireland. It has a relation to Scotland, about the same as the Somali national football team to the World Cup final. Something like this…