History vs Hollywood
Director: David Mackenzie Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle Country: United Kingdom/united States Released: 2018 Netflix’s new action film is visually stunning but how does it fare in terms of accuracy?
Was Netflix’s Outlaw King a brave heart or grave farce?
At the beginning of the movie, Robert the Bruce, played by Chris Pine, pledges his allegiance to King Edward I of England in 1304.
This did happen in real life and in fact, Robert submitted to Edward two years earlier, in 1302.
In Scotland, King Edward uses a trebuchet named ‘the Warwolf’ – this trebuchet really did exist and was possibly the biggest one to have ever been built.
This film also gets props for largely accurate historical clothing, with no kilts in sight.
Bruce’s marriage to Elizabeth was politically motivated in real life and probably less romantic than it is portrayed on screen. However, the film correctly depicts Elizabeth being imprisoned and she would remain in England for eight years.
The film accurately depicts Bruce stabbing John Comyn to death after becoming scared that he will betray him to King Edward. It is also true that Bruce was later pardoned for committing the murder by the Bishop of Glasgow.
Although the movie concludes following Bruce’s victory at the Battle of Loudoun
Hill in 1307, in reality his fight for Scottish independence continued for another two decades. The fact that the Prince of Wales is at the battle is also historically inaccurate.
Verdict Far from perfect but Outlaw King beats Braveheart any day