Being an independent film critic is difficult at times, but I struck the jackpot when being accepted for press accreditation at this years Edinburgh International Film Festival.
I set out to do several things, one in particular was not only seeing the new Scottish movie, Robert The Bruce, but, also conducting an interview with the star, Angus MacFadyen. These dreams came true for me.
After coming out the screening for the movie, I headed off to have my interview with Angus, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Robert The Bruce is a follow on from Braveheart, which was made 24 years ago (scary!) and helped Angus become a well established actor in not only Scotland, but, worldwide.
The movie follows on from William Wallace’s death; after heavy losses on and off the battlefield, Robert (Angus) retreats and a bounty is placed on his head to be hunted down.
After three of his own soldiers injure Robert, he takes refuge in the Croft of a peasant woman Morag (Anne Hutchison) and three children that reside with her, who know all too well death could come for helping the outlaw king.
Once nursed better, Robert realises he needs to keep fighting to not only reclaim his right as King, but, also the freedom of all Scottish folk, which ultimately leads to 1314’s iconic victory at Bannockburn (which marks its 705th anniversary this week).
The character of Robert the Bruce is very close to Angus’ heart, having not only done a heavy amount of research on this particular period in our history, but also co-wrote the script for this movie.
I am a huge fan of Braveheart, it has become iconic over the last quarter century, however, Robert the Bruce goes way beyond what it did in the storytelling sense.
Angus said he wanted to have the focal point as Robert’s despair in the cave and make the audience think about why a man would crawl into a dark space and not want to come out from it, before having a new found outlook on what is important not just to him, but for his country.
It is done so perfectly; it shows a man at his lowest ebb come back from the dark and despair and keep fighting for his country and the people in it.
The acting in the movie was terrific, from all the cast, to the children; Scot and Iver (played by Gabriel Bateman and Talitha Bateman respectively) – who are actually American, and pulled off great Scottish accents, to the man himself, Angus MacFadyen, who actually outdoes his memorable performance in Braveheart.
Angus stated Robert the Bruce is his proudest achievement out of all the films and TV shows he has done in the past; simply for how long the character had been with him for - he embodied the character so much, that it felt like a natural role for him to do – and to be honest, I couldn’t agree more with him.
I have watched many of his roles of the years from Takin’ Over the Asylum to Equilibrium to the Saw franchise, but this role as Robert The Bruce is his greatest performance – it was natural, well scripted, realistic and frankly just an incredible performance, and I really hope others see it the same way as I do.
For the full review visit www.rosiehughesmovies.com and for the full interview like and follow Rosie Hughes Movie World on Facebook.
Robert The Bruce opens at cinemas on Friday.