Mel Gibson, is a highly controversial figure in Hollywood. Though, there is still one thing about him that will never be taken back. He is an exceptional filmmaker; some of his films have gone on to become record Breakers in the award department. From his work in George Miller’s Mad Max series to his own films such as Braveheart and Hacksaw Ridge; he has proven himself as one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood. The Problem with Mel Gibson arises, in the fact that he literally does any film that is given to him. One of such films is The Patriot.
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The Movie Review
One would think that Mel Gibson starring in an American historical epic would be a good sign for the film; however that is not the case. The Patriot is one of the most underwhelming war films that I have ever seen in my life, and it’s not just about the film’s film-making, it is also the fact that it feels like it is historically inaccurate.
The film uses dramatization in a very melodramatic way and creates a sense of unrealism to its overall aesthetic. This is sad because the film could have been so much better if it just took the more realistic route.
The film is set during the American Revolutionary War in 1776; it follows captain Benjamin Martin a veteran of the French and Indian wars who is a widower with seven children. The film follows as Benjamin tries to avoid fighting in the war, yet his violent capabilities are soon to be pulled out of him when the war comes to him.
For a historical epic, it does have a huge cost. Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, and Joely Richardson all take part in this phone. I should make it clear that the performances in this film are pretty darn good. The problem with this film is that the direction is very broken.
The film has a huge pacing problem, as it takes a huge time to build characters off. By the end, it doesn’t really matter because the film ends on such a sharp note. It also feels quite an uninspired film; every single shot in the film feels very repetitive and unimaginative. If the film had better direction, and a bit more of a realistic one then it could have been a much better film overall.
It is said that the screenwriter for this film, Robert Rodat wrote around 18 different drafts for this film before the final one was accepted. That alone is a bad sign for the film being pushed full scale into production!
The problem with this film was best described by Harrison Ford, “It boiled the American Revolution down to one guy wanting revenge.” You cannot describe the film better than that; it is a terrible retelling of the American Revolution from an independence war to a revengeful.
The best part about this film is the production design, the sets feel gigantic and the war sequences look realistic. It was shot entirely on location in South Carolina on Charleston and Rock Hill. Even the music of this film, was exceptionally good when it came to the overall aesthetic and theme of the film.
Everything about this film bit, the cinematography in the film is pretty good as well though the film lacks a lot of innovation in that department. The lighting is quite dull for the most part, with bloom being used a lot to showcase the goodness and the niceness in human beings which feels very lackluster and old.
The Bottom Line
In all honesty, I do not like this film. It is a boring, and quite a dull retelling of the American Revolution wars with a revenge film twist. It feels like something that could have been done back in the 1980s however it was executed the same way in the year 2000.
So, in conclusion, I would just like to say that this is a mediocre film starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, which could have been done much better if things were different in the direction department.