Braveheart has granted itself a certain division over time, common to most best picture winners, though I've often noticed that it is basically a given with so many of the general public that it is a great film, while the tendency among so many cinematic snobs is to heavily deride the film. This comes in a few qualities. The most recent derision comes in the form of judgment against Mel Gibson as a man. Although one is free to judge the man as much as they wish in general, one of the main common criticisms in regards to this film is a little unfounded that this was a vanity project, since Gibson actually only starred in the film in order to be able direct it. Another major criticism outside of the man though comes in its historical accuracy, which seems a strange thing especially given the film states it's story does not match historical fact from the beginning. The film is far more of a historical legend about William Wallace, rather than William Wallace the man. This then comes down to are such films allowed to exist that wish to tell a grander vision than the historical record, yet that is entirely the point and wholly apparent within the film's overarching style. The film is an epic poem about freedom, in a rather general sense, than the true story of the Scottish war for independence, not unlike a film like Spartacus. The film denotes this approach from the beginning and in doing so creates a grand epic. It is technically an outstanding from the outset with its unforgettable score, and cinematography. The battle sequences are a step above most that come before offering a strong visceral intensity in every skirmish. It is not a mere technical exercise though as the emotions are as sweeping as its vistas. The film is a great success not by being a historical document by being a legend.