Hollywood stars often come across a project that either catapult them to success or become a topic of conversation due to their controversial subject matter. Mel Gibson, however, experienced both when he released his 1995 epic historical drama, Braveheart, following the story of the 13th-century Scottish warrior Sir William Wallace. Starring alongside the French actress Sophie Marceau, he directed and produced the movie, which would later win an Oscar for Best Picture.
It was a box office success and received mostly positive reviews. However, it still faced criticism for several historical inaccuracies, including the relationship depicted between Marceau and Gibson’s characters. And the Academy Award recipient had something interesting to say about it when he addressed the criticism during an interview.
The Criticism Surrounding Mel Gibson’s Braveheart
Mel Gibson’s 1995 film Braveheart follows the story of the Scottish warlord, Sir William Wallace, who is also known to be one of the main leaders during the First War of Scottish Independence. The movie grossed over $75 million at the domestic box office and over $200 million worldwide and was awarded with five Oscars.
However, the movie was also surrounded with criticism due to presenting several historical inaccuracies, one of them being the relationship between William Wallace and Princess Isabella of France. The 1995 historical drama depicts them in a romantic relationship.
The movie portrays an affair between the Scottish knight and the wife of Edward II and later implies that William Wallace fathered her child. However, historians have stated that the portrayal is completely wrong, as Princess Isabella of France would have been three years old during the events featured in the movie.
The criticism also surrounded the movie’s name, Braveheart. According to historians, the title was actually used for King of Scots Robert the Bruce rather than William Wallace. The director of the movie later addressed the issues during an interview with the Daily Mail.
Mel Gibson’s Response to Braveheart Criticism
Following the backlash, Mel Gibson finally addressed the criticism surrounding his 1995 film Braveheart during an interview with the Daily Mail. Although he admitted that a lot of things in the movie were historically misinterpreted, it did not seem to bother the movie star.
“Some people said that in telling the story, we messed up history,” he said during the interview before stating, “It doesn’t bother me because what I’m giving you is a cinematic experience.” The actor claimed that his movie was meant to entertain first, “then teach, then inspire.”
He also claimed that there was very little information available about William Wallace, as he agreed that there were “quite a few” historical inaccuracies. However, he also said that according to what he read about him, the Scottish warlord did not seem as nice as shown in the movie. And he had to “romanticized” the story and the character to make it “cinematically acceptable.”
Braveheart is available on Max.
Source: Daily Mail