Epic war film with a running time of 165 minutes, which came under criticism for its harsh portrayal

Epic war film with a running time of 165 minutes

The American War of Independence is one of the most important events in the USA, after all, it has a direct connection to the birth of this nation. The fact that a German director in particular is taking on this topic may at first glance raise certain expectations. But The Patriot by Roland Emmerich actually brims with as much American patriotism as the title promises.

You can now stream The Patriot with Mel Gibson on Netflix.

War film with Mel Gibson: The Patriot on Netflix

That’s what it’s about: Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is a veteran who has had enough bloodshed and horrific acts to answer for. That’s why he doesn’t want to take part in wars anymore and refuses to support the Continental Army against the British. Rather, he wants to take care of his seven children after his wife died three years ago.

Columbia Tri Star

Mel Gibson in The Patriot

However, his eldest son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) joins the fight against the British without his father’s permission. When he turns up injured at home two years later, the British aren’t far either. Soon Benjamin’s entire family is drawn into the conflict and a terrible loss forces him to go to war again.

Emmerich wasn’t too particular about historical accuracy in Der Patriot

With The Patriot, Roland Emmerich did not make a historical film based on actual events. Much more the film celebrates the American founding myth. He was repeatedly accused of reporting one-sidedly about the events, demonizing the British in the film and exaggerating the pathos of freedom. In this way, the war film can quickly be converted into an uncritical work of American propaganda that only makes an effort to achieve historical authenticity in the details.

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As a non-American audience, however, you are well advised to turn a blind eye to the historical details and see the film as a work of fiction. After all, similar accusations could be made against a film like Inglourious Basterds historical accuracy make. However, if you can look past that, you get a gripping war film with fantastic performances.

The Patriot on Netflix: American patriotism from Germany, England and Australia

Roland Emmerich is probably one of the directors who makes the most patriotic films in the USA. The existence War film like The Patriot included shouldn’t be too surprising. The German filmmaker made his love for the States very clear with Independence Day and cemented it with The Patriot.

He didn’t just get reinforcements for his American hero story from the USA. In addition to many British actors, most of whom also play the British representatives in the film, Heath Ledger, an Australian, and Donal Logue, a Canadian, were brought in front of the camera.

The antagonist Col. William Tavington was originally not supposed to be played by the Brit Jason Isaacs, but by Kevin Spacey. However, it was too expensive after Mel Gibson’s fee. Luckily, because despite the criticism of the… harsh portrayal of the British Jason Isaacs gave a fantastic performance in the film.