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“The Patriot”: Historical Film Analysis


“The Patriot” is an epic war film which illustrates the relationships of loved ones. The movie is half-way realistic movie and the attempt to address the war-fares. In the analysis of this movie, we will observe the successful measures as well as flaws of the movie and the costumes, accents, locations and other important factors have helped the movie portray the history.

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The Patriot is a movie that is not larger than life. This movie not even stands out to comparison with Brave heart. But to the extent it’s successful in portraying the history. Mel Gibson in the movie plays the character of Benjamin Martin. He has been portrayed as the protagonist in the movie who loves his family. His wife died during the child birth and lives with his children. The movie centralized the character of Mel Gibson in different range of roles; in the first place he plays a role of a father who becomes a war hero in order to take care of his children and for the future. This movie starts off from the scene of independence declaration o South Carolina in 1776. This movie’s star power is on the shoulder of Mel Gibson (Emmerich).

The cast includes Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Adam Baldwin, Rene Auberjonois, Donal Logue, Tcheky Karyo, and Tom Wilkinson. Mel Gibson in this mellow dramatic movie is shown as a man of honor and family. Benjamin Martin holds arms with his young son Gabriel and joins the persistent red coat army. The reason behind his attainment of arms and the transformation to another character is the risk and danger his family enters when the war broke out. He found out that the only way-out for him to save his family is to fight in the honor of family. Benjamin Martin was fearful about his brutal past (Emmerich).

The movie also holds the trait of the protagonist as a character of a warrior, who is made a hero of the war by the comrades but he leaves his past behind and moves to South Carolina where he is married to a woman and lives with his 7 children. This movie also introduces the war of French and Indians in which the Britain was divided into 12 colonies. These colonies were required to pay taxes in the form of sugar, currency and other charges, but they denied paying the taxes because they were not able to do so for this imposition (Emmerich).

Benjamin attains the nature of war once again despite of his hatred of warfare. Mel Gibson has remarkably played the role of the father in this movie. Later on, in the movie Benjamin Martin is put in decisive situation where he has to look into the consequences and step ahead. It is complicated for him to go back to the life of a warrior because now he has the responsibility of his family. The brutal past, the responsibility of the family he holds and the tragedy that enters in his life again, altogether makes him a solemn and controlled man. At the point where father has to think about the family and decide, his son is free from doubts and he is sure of what to do. Gabriel is young and enthusiastic to enter into the fight and serve the young country (Emmerich).

The attire worn by the actors are well-suited and completely the way it was back in 70’s but the accents are not the true accents of the 70’s. When the colonies were made back in the war period, European people were more industrialized and were spread all over the world. Even literature was greatly under the European influence. The accents didn’t greatly possess the European mode. The locations and the sets are sharply visible in the movie for a petite period of time. The locations and the sets are successfully altered to fit the movie’s backdrop. The placements of the historical event in the movie are not overlapping which is a great success of the director and the screenplay.

The relationship of a father and the responsibility of a father towards the family have been beautifully portrayed. The good guys in the movie are Mel Gibson himself who acts as a father and a responsible man who experiences changes in life and the bad guy of the story is Isaac who plays as the villain in the story as he has killed Martin’s second son.

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The Patriot is a produced by metropolis Entertainment production. The movie directed by Roland Emmerich. The screenplay is written by Oscar winner the Robert Rodat. Dean Devlin, Mark Gordon and Gary Levinson are the producers. The photography of the film is three times Academy award winner Caleb Deschanel. More over the creative team of the movie includes many great names. The editor of the movie is Oscar award winner David Berner The location where the movie has been shot is South Carolina. The costumes designer whose role has been really important for the success of the movie claimed by the critics is Deborah Scott (Emmerich).


By the analysis of the movie, it has been clarified that there are countless other movies dealing with the history of the world which were successful to portray the history. This movie is one of those movies. This movie greatly and easily without complicated suspense and the catchy screenplay adds in the historical knowledge of the viewers. The movie completely injects the message to the viewers to serve the family and land bravely and passionately.

Works Cited

The Patriot. Dir. R Emmerich. 2000.

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