Young William Wallace (James Robinson) is a 13th century Scottish youth surrounded by sorrow. His brother and father have both been killed in battle and his uncle Arygle (Brian Cox) decides that the only proper way for the boy to grow up is with him and become an educated man. While William is growing up, Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan) is attempting to not only hold his kingdom, England, but also the rest of “his island”, which includes Scotland. He also declares that primae noctis, a lord’s legal right to bed any common bride inhabiting their lands on the night of their wedding, is in effect. William Wallace (Mel Gibson) returns to his village during a wedding celebration when a lord enforces this right. He soon meets his childhood crush and the two fall in love. In order to avoid primae noctis, and a father’s disapproval, the ceremony is small and the couple is married in secret. A couple of soldiers notice the duos closeness and they begin to harass Murron (Catherine McCormack). William comes to her aid but the guards are now after her hero. Wallace escapes but his bride is captured and her throat is cut in full view of all citizens as a reminder of what could happen to them. Now William is out for revenge, for not only the man that killed his wife, but all men that work for the evil Longshanks.
If you are looking for a film to inspire, look no further. As a director, Mel Gibson proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with. This film may be intensely graphic and violent at times, but our hero’s motivation is unquestioning and this is a movie about war. The cinematography is absolutely amazing and was much deserving of any awards it received. The story is heart wrenching, but compelling at the same time. It may not be totally historically accurate, but it tells a story that many people probably weren’t aware of before it was released. The cast did an amazing job portraying medieval Scots. This is by far one of the best films ever made. It gets a rare, for my rating scale, 10/10.