Who likes historical movies about known figures from the past but instead of rooting for the main character, clutches the popcorn bag tighter when the underdog is on screen? We, of course! And who ends up getting more focused on the clothes and the backgrounds instead of the actual plot? We… do?
Historical movies are a complicated affair. When done right they can be a wonderful window into another time in History and the opposite can be quite the bore fest. There were no expectations when we picked “Outlaw King” for movie night. We didn’t even realize how the story was connected to “Braveheart” as the events follow the defeat of William Wallace.
And although we follow Rover the Bruce, our hearts were taken by James Douglas, Lord of Douglas. His representation by the actor Aaron Taylor Johnson was full of energy and boldness! In the movie, we get to see how he ends up being known as “Blak Dowglas” and his role in Scotland’s Independence wars as he was an expert at keeping the borders of Scotland protected and got to be named Guardian of the Realm.
The poet and chronicler John Barbour dedicated a poem of the Black Douglas, among the first of its kind in Scottish history:
But he was not so fair that we
Should praise his looks in high degree.
In visage he was rather grey;
His hair was black, so I heard say,
His limbs were finely made and long,
His bones were large, his shoulders strong,
His body was well-knit and slim
And those say that set eyes on him,
When happy, loveable was he,
And meek and sweet in company,
But those with him in battle saw
Another countenance he wore!
As a fair warning, this movie is not for everyone, especially if you are easily upset at the sight of slaughter. And boy, is there slaughter in this flick.
But if medieval stuff is to your liking and you can tolerate a bit of violence, this movie is worth a watch, especially for the wonderful fabrics used in the clothes! The wardrobe is indeed very believable. Especially Douglas. He has stars and as you might have suspected already, we are quite biased towards them… because that’s what we all are!
★Have a wonderful weekend and as always, stay inspired!★