In Braveheart, Mel Gibson plays William Wallace, a 13th century Scotsman who became a legendary freedom fighter.
This farmer was turned into a warrior following the brutal murder of his wife by English troops. Although Scottish nobles were bought off regularly by the King of England, Wallace rallied ordinary Scotsmen from different clans to fight for their country's independence.
In his second directorial turn, Mel Gibson (The Man Without a Face) proves himself a capable craftsman as he orchestrates several fierce battle sequences and draws out solid performances from Patrick McGoohan as the malevolent King of England, Sophie Marceau as the Princess of Wales, Brendan Gleeson and David O'Hara as Wallace's two most trustworthy friends, and Angus McFadyen as a conflicted contender for the crown in Scotland.
Gibson's William Wallace comes across as a heroic, courageous, insightful, selfless, and single-minded leader. As a seeker after the Holy Grail of freedom, he is a true believer.