YMMV / Braveheart

  • Complete Monster: King Edward I "Longshanks" is portrayed as far more evil than his real life counterpart ever was. Introduced as a "cruel pagan" who has annexed Scotland into England and just returned from a war with France, he authorizes mass rape in Scotland by restoring the ancient law of Ius Primae Noctis, giving English lords in Scotland the right to claim "first night" of any peasant girl in their domain upon their marriage. He's doing this to win support from the English lords necessary to solidify his rule in Scotland and to gradually end the Scottish as a nation by outbreeding them. He sees his effeminate son Edward II simply as the continuation of his legacy, throws his son's homosexual lover out of a window for daring to speak to him as an advisor and beats his son's face in afterwards. After William Wallace stages a Scottish rebellion against him, Longshanks announces his intent to reduce the country to ashes just out of petty spite at Wallace. During an engagement with the Scots he orders his archers to fire on his own troops while they're busy fighting the Scots, justifying it by stating that his men are expendable. After Wallace is captured by the English due to a conspiracy among the Scottish lords, Longshanks has him slowly and painfully tortured to death in a public execution while listening on from his own death bed.
  • Crazy Awesome: Stephen.
    Hamish: Is your father a ghost or do you converse with the Almighty?
    Stephen: In order to find his equal an Irishman is forced to talk to God.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The scene where Prince Edward's lover gets thrown out a window. According to the filmmakers, this was unintentional.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: James Horner delivers an absolutely amazing score for this film.
    • Bonus points for the main theme song, which was later remixed and became a respectable chart hit.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: William Wallace's execution is funnier given how much of an asshole Mel Gibson is in real life.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Whenever Mel Gibson's portrayal of William Wallace is spoofed/referenced, people will call his character "Braveheart" instead of Wallace. In actuality, it refers to Robert the Bruce.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Prince Edward is by no means a likeable guy (cowardly, clueless, treats his wife poorly) but his jerkassery could be explained by the great relationship he has with his good old dad. He's also probably struggling with his homosexuality in a very unfriendly environment to gay people, stuck in a marriage he didn't want and his lover eventually killed by his father. When his wife gives him and his father "The Reason You Suck" Speech saying they don't even know what mercy is as well as love, for a moment he seems distraught (he has lost his companion and lover) supporting this Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • Love It or Hate It: In Scotland. Many posters for this movie can still be found all over Scotland. Ironically there are plenty of Scottish people who hate this film for its inaccuracies. A statue of Mel Gibson as Wallace was subject to vandalism for years before finally being removed.
  • Magnificent Bastard: King Edward. Sorry, but Patrick McGoohan is awesome.
  • Memetic Mutation: The "HOLD!" bit became a meme on YTMND in the mid 2000's.
    • "FREEEDOM!!" gets a lot of mileage too, especially for folks having to endure some lengthy torture (bonus points if said torture is something entirely mundane).
  • Moral Event Horizon: When the Magistrate responds to an attempted rape by one of his soldiers by publically executing the victim - Murron - and daring Wallace to come to him. The atrocities trigger off a peasant revolt, get his entire garrison killed (special mention goes to the attempted rapist, who is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice) and almost bring down the entire English kingdom. Talk about Laser-Guided Karma!
  • Signature Scene:
    • The moment Wallace realizes that he had been betrayed by Robert is often seen as the most memorable portrayal of a moment when someone comes to the realization that they had been stabbed in the back.
    • Wallace's execution, mostly because of his last yell for FREEDOM.
  • Squick: An English soldier tells Murron how she reminds him of his own daughter back in England before he tries to molest her.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: You really can't help but feel sorry for Edward II after his father throws his (possible) lover out a window to his death.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Braveheart