‘Gladiator’ Is Literally A Repetition Of ‘Braveheart’

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‘Gladiator’ Is Literally A Repetition Of ‘Braveheart’

Never imagined a film could receive the Academy Award for Best Picture twice? Yep, it did.

King Solomon claims in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” And in Ecclesiastes 1:10, he says, “Is there a case where one can say, “Look, this is new”? It has already existed in the ages before us.…” That fact is blatantly obvious whether one reflects on chronicles, human conduct, or art. Thus, are we being impartial upon saying that one film ripped off another? Sometimes these actions are overt – someone trying to profit off a previous employee’s achievement, similar to the period when Mac and Me was released half a dozen years after E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, much to Paul Rudd’s pleasure and to the global audience’s fright. Sometimes it’s less obvious than that, and nobody appears to notice. Call it intentional theft, unconscious impact, or perhaps even parallel thinking. The truth is that cinematic twins are commonplace. That is, narratives that develop in time with one another, beat for beat.

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22 years have passed since a hugely successful Oscar winner finished filming and entered post-production. Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, opened to over $460 million worldwide on May 5, 2000. It received 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor (for Russell Crowe), in something that can just be interpreted as a substitute prize for his missing out the previous year. You won’t mind watching the movie again because it’s well-made and exciting. And it’s true that a lot of stuff seems familiar. Another movie was filmed in the Scottish Highlands and Ireland in the summer of 1994, 5 years before Gladiator was finished. For the much-loved Braveheart movie, Mel Gibson changed his appearance and spoke with a Scottish dialect 25 years ago. The 1995 epic, which debuted in May as well, failed to earn even half as much money at the box office as Gladiator. But the Academy loved it, awarding Gibson Best Picture and Best Director.

Nothing about the two movies looks identical.. While both films feature graphic violence and gore, Gladiator has a cleaner aesthetic overall, especially in its depictions of prehistoric Rome. Even the Colosseum reflects the wealth and impeccable elegance of this metropolis. Of course, some of that was produced electronically. Contrarily, Braveheart is dirtier and murkier. It tells the story of a group of rebels searching for their upcoming war while residing off the land. Just watch these guys and you can nearly smell them, and the movie uses almost no digital effects. Even the fortresses of the English lords seem dreary, chilly and unwelcoming. It’s completely different from the Italian bliss Scott and company present. However, take note of the beats. Observe these heroes’ journeys, romantic relationships, and antagonists. It is the same story, just set in a different era.

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In Braveheart, William Wallace is a grown-up who has departed from his hometown for a while when we first see him. The English had slaughtered his father and other clan members, so young William was brought away to be schooled by his uncle, portrayed by Brian Cox. Now coming back, Wallace has become a man of peace. He appears to absorb the nostalgia that brings back memories of the innocence he once had prior to the death of his family, as he takes a deep breath. Wallace later claims that he’s returning to bring up a family of his own, and to raise crops. While the chronicle context was established with the opening narration in Braveheart, Gladiator does this by an introductory text from the beginning. Next, we are presented with our main hero, Maximus, who looks at a European robin resting on a branch while wearing a fox skin over his armored shoulder, and our General smirks a little at the bird. Although there will be bloodshed in a matter of seconds, it’s clear right now that Maximus desires tranquility. The moment this conflict is over, Maximus plans to return to his hometown to take care of his wife and small boy. Wallace and Maximus, two great soldiers, prioritize peace above everything else.

Indeed, these things are transitory. Following his covert marriage, Wallace is provoked by the perverse English, who then kills his new spouse, sending Wallace on a quest of revenge. Wallace and his kilted comrades murders their English supervisors. In contrast, Maximus is accused of murdering Richard Harris’ Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was in fact killed by his son, Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus. But, just executing Maximus is simply insufficient, and Commodus has his son and wife killed. Meanwhile, Maximus gets away from execution and rides from Germania to Spain, but he arrives too late. Cohorts of the Romans have already presented and killed everybody on the premises, including the family of Maximus as well.

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With each of them having lost a beloved, caused by a more high-powered authority, that leaves us with 2 deprived men. Wallace didn’t want to battle, but now people look to him as a man leader. He makes liberty the goal of his retaliation and turns it into a cause. Maximus and his sword-wielding companions, Djimon Hounsou’s Juba and Ralf Moeller’s Hagen, arrive at the Colosseum, the place in which the real trials start, after being forced into slavery and made to fight in inferior gladiator arenas, where he quickly becomes a fan favorite among the bloodthirsty audiences. Similarly, Wallace travels with his colorful sidekicks, namely Brendan Gleeson’s Hamish and David O’Hara’s Stephen.

Furthermore, it was a wise casting decision to cast Tommy Flanagan in the part of the hero’s faithful companion in both movies. The three amiable guys who are vying for the freedom they feel is rightly theirs, despite the fact that the deck is set against them, form the heart of the movies. Nonetheless, if the leaders Wallace and Maximus were sincere, they would acknowledge that the real driving force behind the conflict was the execution of their spouses.

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An antagonist is required, just like in any epic tale. Hopefully, the antagonists will be just as delectably loathsome as the protagonists are honorable. In this way, the movies are very similar to one another. King Edward Longshanks, portrayed by Patrick McGoohan and Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, are both unforgivable villains whose depravity stretches to infinity.  Both men are virtually entirely simple. Both are consumed by rage towards anyone who opposes them, with Commodus possessing the single shred of complexity since he has a more obvious reason to despise Maximus: his dad, Marcus Aurelius, favored Maximus over his own blood.

They are in some senses 2 of the most horrible adversaries in the annals of chronicle films. At one point, in spite of his own troops standing in the way, Edward gives the order for archers to shoot arrows on the Scots. Plainly said, as long as the Scots are dead, Edward doesn’t care about his own soldiers’ lives. In addition, he pushes his son’s boyfriend out the window, where he dies. Meanwhile, Commodus, apart from murdering his own dad, makes sexual advances on his own sister. During the conclusion, he cheats and stabs Maximus in his chest, causing a fatal injury. This is the only way he knows how to defeat Maximus in combat. These 2 nefarious men are utterly one-note. The only distinction between is that, under Longshanks’ authority, every Englishman is a vile individual.

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You only need to watch the repulsive troops who attempt to assault Wallace’s fiancée, Catherine McCormack’s Murron, as is his obligation under the imposed English law, Prima Nocta. No one on that side is someone we even remotely harbor any ambivalence toward; we despise them all. The Scots, in the movie, are heroes, while the English are simply villains, simple as that. Although this is effective at influencing viewers’ reaction, it takes a clumsy, ill-considered method to the narration of heroes and villains. At least, Gladiator presents some troubled characters who ain’t totally deprived while living under Commodus’ reign. The English are depicted in Braveheart in the same ways as Commodus is in Gladiator.

In a sense, war is being fought in the eyes of an outraged Commodus as the stories advance and Wallace is disclosed to King Edward as Public Enemy No. 1 and Maximus is shown to be the gladiator who has returned from the afterlife. For Wallace, that entails capturing castles and engaging in daring combat maneuvers across vast fields. Maximus’s goals are to apply military strategy to the sandy arena, win over the crowd, and survive long enough to be seen as important by the general public. The objective is the same, and the method remains similar. Thrive and victor, and you’ll gain your freedom. However, the love from a deceased lady just doesn’t wear off.

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When the lovers of these solid guys die at the hands of their foes, each narrative finds itself in the same spot. What is the best way to kill yourself off that situation? Simple, just replace the more demure, girl-next-door of antiquity with a princess. Princess Isabelle, the king’s daughter-in-law, is portrayed by Sophie Marceau in the movie Braveheart. Meanwhile, the princess in Gladiator is Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla, Commodus’ sister. Each lady who falls in love with the protagonist is intimately connected to his formidable enemy. Although Wallace romances his princess a little more than Maximus does, the story device still exists and serves the same function. Even the two woman characters are found defying their own nations in an effort to save the heroes.

The plots stretch to a turning point in which it seems the good folks might win the day. Falkirk ends in Wallace’s defeat, but his desire for retribution against those who deceived him catapults his myths into the chronicles. Despite the fact that commonplace sentiment may have shifted in his favor, his guerrilla battle has reached its conclusion. Wallace, who has sided with Angus Macfadyen’s Robert the Bruce a 2nd time, has high hopes for this conflict, before the 3rd act begins. Unbeknownst to Robert, his father has capitulated to the English and set up Wallace’s capture.

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In the same vein, we see Maximus succeeds in gaining the support of the populace and learning that his previous troops are still devoted. The Roman senator Gracchus (Derek Jacobi) and Lucilla concoct a plan to free him from incarceration. Its upturn will determine Maximus’ destiny. Eventually, all that’s left are two obstinate men who continue to defy administrations and risk being executed by the evil overlords they’ve disobeyed. If the movies did not look sufficiently identical already, Gladiator’s closing ten to fifteen minutes are almost an exact replica of the movie that was released 5 years before.

In Braveheart, Wallace is brutally executed while Longshanks was terminally ill on his own bed. Meanwhile, in gladiator, Maximus encounters Commodus in the final one-on-one combat to death. It’s just that, as was mentioned earlier, Maximus has already been injured by Commodus previously. If Wallace passes away quietly, maybe this absurd Scottish uprising will be put to an end, eventually. Should Commodus manage to overpower the mighty Maximus in front of thousands of yelling Romans, it’s likely that the young emperor will earn their respect in the future. Yet it isn’t for either of the rivals.

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Wallace shouts “Freedom!” for everyone to listen to, effectively stabbing Longshanks in the heart as the heroic Scotsman’s cry reverberates across the entire country. Longshanks dies as a result. The agitated audience quiets down as they are astounded by this man’s fortitude and bravery in the face of such agonizing suffering. Wallace is at tranquility as he observes murron-related visions flitting among the gathering. William Wallace is declared deceased and gone after being decapitated. Just like Commodus, Maximus slowly bleeds out as he beats the emperor to a pulp in front of all of Rome before slitting his throat and killing him. With his house and family barely out of grasp, Maximus falters. He finally gives in just a few moments later, with Lucilla by his side.

While simultaneously fighting their foes and witnessing their deceased wives, both men are slaughtered by their adversaries! Additionally, the substitute lovers contribute to a final attack on the adversaries. Longshanks is informed by Princess Isabelle that she is expecting Wallace’s kid. And Lucilla insists that the wishes of the deceased Maximus be respected, Gracchus be reinstated, and the slaves be freed. However, things don’t stop there. Each movie concludes with a brief epilogue. In Braveheart, there is a nine-year flashback (although the movie doesn’t specify how long it is). On the battlefield of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce is in charge of the Scots as they submit to the English.

Robert changes his mind and decides to take command of this military in combat after being motivated by Wallace. Hamish concurs and throws Wallace’s blade far into the distance before the Scots assault into the unwary English ranks while singing Wallace’s name. Wallace’s voiceover narration concludes by stating that it was on this field when the Scots ultimately attained their long-sought freedom. Although Gladiator’s context is a little closer to home, it still hits the similar dramatic and emotional notes. Juba is discovered hiding Maximus’ lucky figurines in the sand in the Colosseum. He tells his dead brother in arms that they are ultimately liberated and that he will join him again in a speech to the sky.

After the main character dies in both movies, the audience is left feeling content that freedom has been attained because of the attempts of the lead character. Thus, are the authors William Nicholson, John Logan, and David Franzoni the most renowned types of thieves? Or is it likely that Scott’s movie simply occurred to develop naturally in the exact way Gibson’s did, and would have despite whether Randall Wallace ever saw a statue of Sir William Wallace while traveling and made the decision to write the screenplay that would mark the pinnacle of Gibson’s career? It is conceivable, yes.

Gladiator essentially transformed Randall’s storyline into something more archaic, promoted it as a sports actioner (via TV advertising), and managed to dupe Academy voters into thinking they had seen the year’s top film. And it occurs frequently. In the absence of Lawrence of Arabia, would we have Braveheart? Or, in the end, Gladiator without Spartacus? Perhaps, just perhaps, Scott and his team approached their work with the utmost earnestness, unintentionally creating a tale whose twin awoke viewers only a couple of years earlier.

Since there is nothing new under the sun, as Solomon reminds us, stories like Braveheart and Gladiator are timeless. However, there are fresh approaches to tried-and-true tasks. It is preferable for fans of both movies, including me, to view them as familiar stories that have been freshly spun for our maximum enjoyment. Oh, and the historical accuracy of both movies is appalling.

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