Movie Review The Patriot

July 13, 2018 History

The movie The Patriot is set in the time period of the late 18th century, the time period of the American Revolution. Mel Gibson plays the character Benjamin Martin, a farmer, and widower of seven children. In the film a British officer murders a son of Benjamin, at which time he gather a small army of farmers and Indians and leads them into battle with the British.

The film does a good job and portraying the effects of the time period and events that take place. In some scenes the battles are sneak attacks which would happen when untrained farmers are fighting; while on the other hand some battles are fought in rows like a standard battle would take place in this time. Some of the weapons are standard guns and cannons and things of that nature while on the other hand some of the inexperienced fighters use hand help weapons such as clubs and tomahawks to fight close up. In context to history of this time some the weaponry can be seen as historically inaccurate, more specifically the cannon. The cannons during this time use metal projectiles to mow through the armies.

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Exploding projectiles were no yet invented. The film portrays a lot of material from this time period; however there are some things that are inaccurate, besides the weaponry. In the first shot of the film, two of the children are seen playing with alphabet cards. These cards also known as “Hotch Potch” cards weren’t printed until 1782. However the scenes in the film take place in 1776. Also later in the film when the militia are about to be hanged, just before Ben rides in, you see the British prepare for the hanging by testing tying sandbags to the noose and opening the trap doors. In actuality, hanging with trap doors didn’t happen until after the war was over.

Further in my research I found another historical inaccuracy, the film portrays some dogs by the name of Great Danes these animals were not known by that name until the late 19th century, before that they were called Boar Hounds. In one scene you also catch a glimpse of an electrical pole, obviously that was invented way after this time. I think this film was a good story and very well directed to feel as if you lived in this time period. Mel Gibson also plays this role very well, which I think ads to the films somewhat accurate depiction of this time period.

This film much like other films that portray history made me better understand how thing were in the time period shown. I have a better grasp into how things were back then and also feel as though this time period was full of stories that shape the world we live in today. Having said that this film has a positive effect on how people should understand history. In conclusion, the film The Patriot gives a look into the past by showing you the struggles of an everyday farmer and how he struggles with the home front issues of the American Revolution. Also this film proves to be mostly historically accurate and give a better look on how events occurred in history.


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