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The Patriot Review

The Patriot
Feroz Hassan / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
5.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Mad Max goes back in time, William Wallace becomes Benjamin Martin, and Roland Emmerich abandons futuristic disasters for the 'glorious' past: The Patriot couldn't be more of a compromise - although, at first, I didn't really mind the last one. This movie sticks to the current trend of packaging history with contemporary language and attitude thrown in. The fact that it becomes a lot more easy to relate to is negated by a tortuously simplistic depiction of the American war of independence.

Martin is a self-sufficient farmer in South Carolina. Haunted by a gruesome yet famous past, the only ambition left in his life, apart from bringing up his seven children, appears to be making chairs that don't break. With a son Gabriel (Heath Ledger), already fighting in the Continental Army, Martin is inexorably drawn towards his Achilles' Heel - the war. The death of his son, at the hands of Col William Tavington (Jason Isaacs), provides him with the excuse to take up cudgels against the Red Coats.

His first act has twenty soldiers dead, with not a clue about the perpetrator. With an army of peasants and the support of the militia, Martin declares war on the British. Being the hero that he is, he revives the fortunes of the freedom fighters. Amidst all the blood bath, father and son find time to reunite with their family back home, and their friends in Charles Town. Needless to say, the peasants 'with pitch-forks' upstage General Cornwallis' (Tom Wilkinson) plans to move North to complete the British conquest.

Some tongue-in-cheek humor notwithstanding, the proceedings are, by and large, insipid. But more exasperating than anything else is the black and white portrayal of the two armies. The British are cold-hearted, while the Americans, for all their moral ambiguity, are fighting for a just cause.

The movie is more about the equations between Martin and Tavington than about any significant chapter of the war. And to think that the script has been written by the same man who is credited with the story of Saving Private Ryan! You can no more go by reputations. I guess the director makes the difference, and Roland Emmerich is nothing more than another one of those MTV generation whizkids who likes to give shape to his most pedestrian fantasies.

Mel Gibson, having struck gold with the same theme in Braveheart, seems to have run out of energy. Looking considerably old, he looks more of a reluctant actor than a reluctant warrior. For all his thoughtful inputs (the moral dilemma of Martin is reported to have been conceived by him), his character is as shallow as they come. In case you like his outfit rather than his savagery, I suggest you check out his Maverick. It's bound to be more worth your while.
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The Patriot (english) reviews
USER RATING
2.0
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USER RATING
2.0
1 USER
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Feroz Hassan on 15th Aug 2000, 10:30pm | Permalink
A horribly simple tale, from a man who is known to churn out movies that are as big as the Himalayas but with the substance of a balloon of the same size.
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