Monday, August 9, 2010

What is it with Mel Gibson?

I had recorded the movie "Braveheart" starring Mel Gibson when it was shown on television several months ago. Saturday evening we finally got around to watching it. Since I'm of Scottish descent and know the William Wallace story, I thought I would enjoy it. And perhaps I would have, had it not been for Mel Gibson's more recent history which made me watch the movie with a jaundiced eye. I know his stern version of Roman Catholicism and his respect for his father's anti-semitic views too well.

What I'll call, for lack of a better term, his Jesus delusion was very much in evidence in "Braveheart." After the English killed his wife, for instance, here comes Gibson riding into the village on a donkey, excuse me, horse with his arms extended out to his sides. Sacrificing himself for his people he was. Right? Of course, it was an act and he and the villagers proceeded to attack the English after he had mesmerized them into complacency. Too bad, up to then it was a reenactment of Palm Sunday.

He kept putting this saintly look on his face as he stood in front of his men ready to attack the English army. Then, in the chaos that was war then (and now for that matter), he manages to kill everyone in sight and survive, bloodied but unbeaten.

Finally, after he was captured he refused to take something to dull the pain and prayed to be able to die well without crying out. Jesus pleading with God? When two partial hangings didn't get him to confess, they laid him out on a cross, for Pete's sake, and though they didn't stick a sword in his side, they did castrate and disembowel him but all he cried out was "Freedom!"

This was just too much for me; I burst out, "Oh, give it a rest, Gibson!"

The story wasn't exactly the truth of course; movies never are. However, the real history wasn't too far from what the movie showed, with the exception of Wallace's (Gibson's) love affair with the princess and his superhuman exploits. Wallace was certainly a hero to the Scots, a man who never in his life pledged allegiance to or entered into any agreements with the English. Robert (the) Bruce, Scotland's other hero did consort with the English until finally becoming the man Scotland needed him to be.

I do wish someone with the motive of telling the real story, which is dramatic enough, would have made this movie. Instead it was made as a form of worship to Mel Gibson and his holier-than-thou attitude toward everyone else. Predicting that he would make "The Passion" after "Braveheart" would have been a piece of cake.

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