I have to preface by saying that I literally have to battle my boyfriend to not watch this when a movie night occurs and we have no good new movie ideas. He is a huge fan, and therefore I have been forced to at least try to enjoy it.
I do feel that it fulfills what a historical film should be like (in my humble opinion). I like that it uses mainly fictional characters to portray history, because it does not blatantly disregard historical events (as we saw in the entire movie of Pocahontas). It captures some subtleties of Native American culture that many other directors and therefore films bother to incorporate.
McClurken’s point about details being correct but not adding up to the larger picture is pretty accurate. Yes there are things in the real history that weren’t really captured correctly.
I also felt that the good vs evil was at least somewhat complex, though it is important to note that the only good indians were the civilized white one and his company.
I was disturbed to know that the story itself (beginning in the novel) was altered so extremely. I don’t understand why that would be so dramatic. The romance does overwhelm the film, which is a draw for me personally. This could account for the purpose of this substantial theme – to win over female audience members who aren’t attracted to the heavy violence also involved in the film. Works for me.
Overall, this was a huge improvement from Pocahontas, and I am skeptical that the Patriot will be any better historically speaking… but we will see.