Mudcat Café message #3083188 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2981   Message #3083188
Posted By: GUEST,Allan Conn
27-Jan-11 - 04:15 AM
Thread Name: Braveheart music wanted
Subject: RE: Braveheart music wanted
"There wasn't a whole lot about the movie that was authentic anyway!"

Mind to be fair the film wasn't a documentary. The broad sweep of the story is there real enough but in the end it was based on a novel which the author says was based on the 18thC translation by Hamilton of the 15thC epic poem by Blind Harry and he then apparantly wove aspects of the story of Christ through it. Much of the said poem, especially the latter stages, is nonsense for example Harry invents a battle completely and he has the Scots actually winning the Battle of Falkirk. So a film based on a 'faction' poem is never going to be historically accurate.

Often people moan about the blue face but that comes from the poem! In Harry his face is painted by a sprite whilst Hamilton changes it to the Virgin Mary. People often moan about the liason with the English princess but again that is from the poems though in them it is the Queen of England who Wallace meets - that is Edward I's wife. For some reason the author of the novel changed it to the daughter in law. The film is certainly less anti-English than the poem is and the film dwells on the execution which the poem doesn't do - but that of course was actually that gruesome.

Of course the film gives the audience the Hollywood treatment of what it thinks it should see. So Wallace is shown as a tartan clad Highlander as is his whole army which of course he wasn't and they all weren't!

One of the most obvious changes from the poems is the way the Irish in the service of Edward I are shown which was maybe a sop to Irish America or maybe just the film maker's own prejudices. In the film the English king sends his Irish troops up against the Scots when both sides suddenly break out in smiles and start clapping each other on the back in Celtic brotherhood and the Irish join the Scottish ranks. In the poems however Wallace confronts a mixed force of Irish and Scottish Highlanders who are in the service of the English. He spares the Highlanders if they agree to join his army but as they are foreign invaders he has the Irish prisoners massacred on the spot.

Blind Harry's poem is filled with historical innaccuracies and plain inventions so any film based on the said work of literature is also going to be inaccurate plus they invented more themselves based on modern stereotypes. The same can be said of for instance Shakespeare's Macbeth which is based on real characters but is stuff and nonsense at the same time yet folk don't go on that much about productions of Macbeth being historically inaccurate :-)