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The Patriot Film Analysis

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The Patriot is an American historical film starring Mel Gibson and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is set in South Carolina, one of the thirteen British colonies set in America. The film follows the story of a “Patriot” named Benjamin Martin. This character is a portrayal of American Revolution War hero Francis Marion. In the film Benjamin, is recognized as a war hero from the French and Indian War. However he has retired from a life of battle and is attempting to follow the virtues of pacifism, until his family becomes the target of war.

After the death of Benjamin’s son and capture of another, he is thrown back into the life he thought he has left behind. The rest of the film portrays the drama and action that leads up to the climactic battle depiction of Battle of Cowpens and the victory of South Carolina in the Siege of Yorktown. Although the story of Benjamin is compelling and inspirational, it is based off of inaccurate historical assumptions. The American Revolution portrayed in The Patriot was more about the war America wanted it be rather than what it was.

The film glorifies American victories as well as American war heroes, while portraying “the redcoats” as sadistic, brutal, and abominable creatures. A perfect example of such bias is the film’s antagonist, Colonel William Tavington, who is a fictional representation of General Sir Banastre Tarleton. The film uses misconception and inaccuracy to portray the victory of America over the British, as a representation of a sanctified glory of angels over demons.

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The film starts with simple inaccuracies that can be excused, however these simple inaccuracies domino into great blunders that cannot be ignored: Some minor mistakes made by the film involve errors such as the materials used during the time period, do not actually belong to that time. For example in several action sequences of the film, weapons such as exploding projectiles or bombs are presented. Although canons were invented in this time period, none of the projectiles ever exploded (Canon link).

Another flaw involves a major societal misunderstanding, when Benjamin goes to war, he sends his children to a slave colony for shelter, for which the slaves are honoured. In the Colonial Era, slave colonies, like the ones portrayed in the film, were secluded and protective from the “White colonists”. Therefore it was highly unlikely that a character such as Benjamin would send his children to a slave colony, let alone being treated kindly for doing so. One of the major inaccuracies is the slave and owner relationship portrayed by the film.

For example during the colonists’ stand against the British Army the Continental Congress states an order. For any slave that serves “12 months” in the Colonial Army, will gain freedom and “5 schillings” per month served. When comparing this claim with other sources, it was discovered that no such claims were extended by the Continental Congress. Infact, The Patriot ignores slavery in total. Director Spike Lee was one of the many critics that were disappointed with the films inaccuracies. “For three hours The Patriot dodged around, skirted about or completely ignored slavery,” he wrote in a letter to The Hollywood Reporter. The Patriot is pure, blatant American Hollywood propaganda. A complete whitewashing of history. ”  The director of the film, Roland Emmerich, misguides his audience into thinking that the British troops are monsters sent from hell. The film portrays the character of William Tavington as a merciless villain who commits intolerable atrocities. For example, a scene in the film depicts the redcoats gathering the entire village including women, children and unarmed men.

They force all of them into a church for an interrogation about Benjamin, after which they lock the church from the outside and set the building on fire. Looking back into the American Revolution, such atrocities were never committed. Although the Sir Banastre Tarleton, portrayed by, William Tavington, is no saint, he wasn’t as evil as the film potrays him. A film critic and a historian, Stephen Hunter, told the Telegraph (magazine) that “Any image of the American Revolution which represents you Brits as Nazis and us as gentle folk is almost certainly wrong” (Cite this).

The German director relates the actions committed by the Nazis in World War II, to those of British in the film. Another major flaw of the film is the protagonist, Benjamin Martin. The movie depicts Benjamin as symbol of goodness, a beacon of hope and a human vessel for an angel. However the character Benjamin Martin tries to portray Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, a militia leader during the Revolution, from South Carolina. According to The Guardian, there were records of Marion persecuting and killing many Cherokee Indians.

He hunted them as a source of entertainment and he raped many of his female slaves. However the movie simply depicts Benjamin Martin as the untainted hero. Finally the movie’s greatest flaw lies in its climatic battle, Battle of Cowpens. Where the tactics used by the militia were similar to that of the movie, however the results were nowhere in comparison of reality. During the Battle of Cowpens, militia was asked to play decoy. Although the film portrays General Nathanael Greene giving the orders, he was never present at this battle.

The militia charged the battle, and after firing two shots retreated back to the hill, where the British troops were overwhelmed by the American Army. However the film portrays the militia firing more than two rounds before retrieval. Lieutenant-General Charles, Lord Cornwallis, commands his men to fire at the crowd of both British and American soldiers as a last resort to defeat America. However in reality Cornwallis never took such actions against his soldiers.

The Patriot Film Analysis essay

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What is the movie The Patriot about?

The Patriot is an American historical film starring Mel Gibson and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is set in South Carolina, one of the thirteen British colonies set in America. The film follows the story of a “Patriot” named Benjamin Martin. This character is a portrayal of American Revolution War hero Francis Marion.

Who is the hero in the movie The Patriot?

The Patriot Film Analysis. The Patriot is an American historical film starring Mel Gibson and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is set in South Carolina, one of the thirteen British colonies set in America. The film follows the story of a “Patriot” named Benjamin Martin. This character is a portrayal of American Revolution War hero Francis Marion.

Where was the movie The Patriot filmed?

– The Patriot The Patriot was directed and produced by Roland Emmerich in 2000 and filmed in Charleston, South Carolina where parts of the movie were actually based. The movie stars Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, and Joely Richardson.

What is the message of the book The Patriot?

The Patriot. "The Patriot'' is a fable arguing the futility of pacifism, set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. It is rousing and entertaining, and you get your money's worth, but there isn't an idea in it that will stand up to thoughtful scrutiny.

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