May 12, 2012

The Patriot, 2000

The Patriot, 2000
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Heath Ledger, Mel Gibson, Joely Richardson

Stage: Home theatre, Friday night

The Patriot in short: It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more then to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." When South Carolina decides to join the rebellion against England, Gabriel immediately signs up to fight...without his father's permission. But when Colonel William Tavington, British dragoon, infamous for his brutal tactics, comes and burns the Martin Plantation to the ground, tragedy strikes. Benjamin quickly finds himself torn between protecting his family, and seeking revenge along with being a part of the birth of new, young, and ambitious nation.

Preps: Haven't seen it before, unfortunately. Mel on a Friday night sounds great. Let's check it out.

Well, no real expectations. I need to state I am not really a fan of war movies, especially if they are happening on US soil. Because I mostly find them boring and not really attractive to the eyes. And I burst into tears when they tread on animals. I am making an intro because it also reflects in my reviews. Not many movies in this genre have surpassed my limit and have been thrown away. Some of them might be considered very high on my scale, though. For instance Braveheart is one of them, where you can just die of all the feelings that go through your body.

Now as I have mentioned Braveheart, it has the same main actor. Mel Gibson was in some sense (as Bruce Willis for action movies), born for this genre, as the roles in this sense suit him like a glove. Patriotism, fighting for the country, family, love of his children.. it just brings the best out of Mel Gibson and makes him epic, not only heroic.
The scenes are carefully chosen and up to a great extent, lead the observer through the historical facts and figures. The approach at fighting is amazing. I still cannot believe they used such weapons and that virtually a queue of men was just standing there while the opponent would shoot at them. And as they fell down, another (prior second row) stepped in front. In any case, you don't see many so well depicted battles as this one. The energy that Gibson shows is amazing. Especially when interacting with a stiff opponent or when having conversations with his loved ones. Heath Ledger is a good brother in arms, a true statue of youth and rebellion in comparison with Gibson. Whereas Gibson is old school, fighting for survival and until the last man falls.

The music is remarkable, it emphasizes each scene as it should, it is also the answer to my soul's spirit as it shows me without a shadow of a doubt, whether the scene is going to be morbid, killer-spirited, romantic, and it pours in my veins as deep as possible.
As always, I wonder, what is the purpose of the wars and where do they lead in their vanity. What is the role of a war, does it work like a disease - to give an answer to overpopulation? Whose idea is it and why does it get this far. Bunch of men, standing and "fighting for the cause".. when everything could be settled prior to the actual fight. Most of politicians would disagree as a lot of people perceive war to be the only solution or answer to many things. In this case, when you watch Patriot and see why they are fighting, the feeling of sadness even increases. It's never the great generals or politicians that get stuck on field with rifles. They are observers. And real population their puppets (or say chess figures). Truly sad. But real.

My personal rating: 8,5
(one of the finest war-historical heroic movies of all times. It will hurt your soul and make you wonder how lucky we are not being in that space and time. On the other hand, you will want to taste and smell it in reality. Gibson's great role, Heath Ledger also exceeds my expectations)

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