What if the atrocities of war came to your front yard -- if your
son was shot in the back in cold blood -- if your house was torched
while you looked on helplessly?
Directed by Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day") and written
by Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan"),"The Patriot" is the archetypal
story of the Reluctant Warrior. He's the man who has seen -- and
experienced -- too much bloodshed, yet he understands that the fight
for freedom is a never-ending battle, as long as tyrants walk the earth.
The film begins in 1776 with a South Carolina farmer, Benjamin
Martin (Mel Gibson), a widower with seven children and the veteran
of the French and Indian Wars.
While his son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) is eager to enlist in the
Continental Army, Martin delivers an impassioned speech against
the war, declaring, "I'm a parent. I haven't got the luxury of [having] principles."
Bathed in the golden light of magic hour, however, the family's
idyllic lifestyle is shattered by British troops and their ruthless
slaughter of the colonials.