Reactions to Roland Emmerich s The Patriot Roland Emmerich shows a first-hand account of a family that has to face the struggles of the revolutionary war for independence in his motion picture, The Patriot. Although the movie focuses in more on the family s struggle for survival through the war, this paper will focus more on the historical events of the picture. The movie depicted quite accurately on some levels, and more than likely, not so accurately on certain other levels in order to make the movie, a movie instead of a history lesson on dvd. The movie actually does end up being a very good movie and also a very good history lesson even though it does not try to be the latter. The movie starts out right before the beginning of the war in Charlestown, South Carolina. A meeting was held in order to find out how the people of the town feel about the possibility of war. Throughout the meeting, loyalists, patriots, and neutral parties were all seen arguing their causes. The loyalists were, of course, arguing that the colonies have no right to self-government and they should serve the crown loyally, and anyone that does not do as the King says should be charged with treason. The patriots argued that there should not be taxation without representation and that they are willing to fight in order get that freedom, and that they were a separate entity from England and they should not be controlled by a tyrant three-thousand miles away. And the very rare neutral people in the meeting agreed that there should not be taxation without representation, but that should be no reason for war and violence to get those rights, instead, there should be pleas and negotiations with the King in order to get what they want. Soon afterwards, Charlestown is under British control. War continues to ensue, and the colonial forces are losing the battles and the war. The British redcoats would fight in their style: lining up in a straight line, aiming, firing, and moving aside for the line behind them waiting to fire. The American regulars would attempt the same style of fighting, but their lines would break and the British would shoot them down. The American forces should not have imitated the British style of engagement, as the head on way of fighting proved to be less successful for the American s than it was for the British. The fighting tatics that the militia employed tended to be more effective against the redcoats. The militia won their battles by picking them carefully and by ambushing the British when they least expected to be attacked. The militia would attack on the British force s supply lines, smaller strongholds, and also on small bands of soldiers that had lost their officers. Instead of attacking the lower rank soldiers of the British army like the regulars would do, the militia would attack the highest-ranking officers and work their way down. To the British this method seemed to be uncivilized and not acts that a gentleman would do, but to the militia it worked by effectively cutting off the figurative head of the British forces and make the rest of the redcoats fall easier. Also to the colonials, attacking the officers only seemed fair since the officers are the people who would have civilians killed and the soldiers would just follow orders that they were given. Certain British officers would see the aggressions made on civilians to be brutal and agree with the Americans as it being wrong, but other officers would just see it a tactic to cause conflict and grief to the American soldiers. The officers would also consider burning down civilian s property as a way of punishing the people for their treason against the King. The movie does put together a very good re-enactment of the events that occurred during the war for independence. But at the same time, in order for the movie to be any good at all, the director had to exaggerate certain parts of the movie for reasons of suspense and excitement. Roland Emmerich puts together both aspects and comes up with a excellent movie for both purposes. The scenes of battle are intense and even gory at times, but the war itself is gory. The battles are well thought out paying attention to historical details with the actors executing the thoughts of the director as good as any one could possibly hope for. And the actors definitely put on a convincing performance with the visual effects also helping to convince the viewer that they were watching the events unfold in person rather than watching a movie on a television screen. The movie was definitely worth renting and the extra features on the dvd are an excellent source of information about the revolutionary war.
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