Re: The Public Looks at History and "The Patriot"

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Posted by Christina on July 07, 2000 at 09:39:28:

In Reply to: Re: The Public Looks at History and posted by Ayesha on July 06, 2000 at 19:09:20:

Great article, Gayle! And I'll echo the sentiments that if it weren't for sites like this onea and movies like "The Patriot," I would never have gone back and done the reading on the Revolution and the French-Indian war that I've been doing lately. Those old college history books sitting on the shelves are finally getting some use...
and appropros of this, I'm finally going to print my belated ramblings on the movie...
At long last, I’m going to put in my two cents on the Patriot. I drove a long way last weekend to rendez-vous with an old friend just so we could see this movie. (Yes, we’re that into Mel Gibson, and I’m also that into history...) Anyway, we had been planning this for a month and we weren’t disap-pointed. We basically loved the movie from beginning to end. There were two scenes that even caused us to whip out the Kleenex.
The battle scenes were highly ef-fective, most of the characters were intriguing, and as a South Carolininan I can say that they used this state’s beautiful locations to great effect.
The only thing I didn’t quite buy was the love interest. I believe Rich said many posts earlier that it didn’t seem developed enough. That’s not the half of it, in my opinion. While it was cute to see Benjamin woo Aunt Charlotte, was it really necessary? I’m one of these book and film curmude-geons that often wonders why a love interest has to be thrown into every adventure or mystery that comes down the pike. I can’t begin to name the plot-driven movies and books that have been waylaid, in my opinion, by the author’s seeming need to throw in the to-ken romantic interest and gratui-tous sex scene. In my opinion, the storyof this widowed father going off to war to fight for his convic-tions and his family was plenty. Anyway, that was one of the few points of the movie I thought ei-ther needed to be developed or dumped...
There were a few scenes I thought were extremely derivative of “Braveheart” and “LOTM,” espe-cially the scene with the British soldiers getting ambushed by Martin and his kids in the woods. But this also poses the questions, how many ways can you stage a battle scene? In the end, there are always going to be similarities...
As for the violence and the ques-tion of “historical correctness...” This was simply a great story, and it illustrated in its own small way the large atrocities that were committed during this war, and that are part and parcel of every terrible conflict. Tavington was the embodiment of every leader in the Revolution who might have pur-sued his cause without regard for human decency. Martin and his comrades were the embodiment of every Continental soldier will-ing to risk life, limb and even fam-ily for a higher cause.
Was it worth seeing? you better believe it. Will I buy it on video or DVD? You bet. It doesn’t replace “Braveheart” or “LOTM” in my heart, but it comes close. And it’s sure a more worthwhile offering than a lot of what’s out there in theaters these days...
forgive this red-haired lass her ramblings....

: Hi Gayle,

: I couldn't agree more with this article. Thank you for posting it. You know, we saw The Perfect Storm last Friday evening, because we were too late to get in to see The Patriot. Unfortunately, The Perfect Storm is leading in Box Office sales and it was not nearly as good a film as The Patriot. Hopefully more and more people will go to see The Patriot as the word spreads.

: Blessings,

: Ayesha

: : Hope I don't get in trouble for copywrite infringement or anything for passing this along, but I thought in light of our Board discussions of "The Patriot" you might find this interesting. It is part of a letter to today's Dallas Morning News.

: : . . . . I am also dismayed when the majority of our movie-going citizenry would rather spend the dollars earned in our land of opportunity to see a fishing boat story than share in the seeds of liberty brought to the screen in The Patriot. I acknowledge that The Patriot is a bloody, violent, cruel movie about the Revolutionary War. What do we think happened in 1776 and during the years and struggles that followed? I also acknowledge that the movie is inaccurate in many respects. But it is not necessary, in my opinion, that we know the name of every battlefield, general, or town engaged in the struggle. It is, however, imperative that they know how all-encompassing the struggle and sacrifice was that paid for the freedom we enjoy today. What better time to educate our children about the fight for independence than the July 4th holiday? There are billions of people in the world who do not know what it is to be free. Let each of us resolve to do more to celebrate America by keeping its rich history and heritage alive in our own lives and in the lives of our families.

: : JIM PARROW, Coppell, Texas

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