The Price of Freedom

This article was originally published in The Sun Newspaper in 1999. A lot has changed but the ideas remain. I’ve updated “the price” of freedom, but nothing else!

Thriteen bucks.

That’s what freedom costs, at least in Orange County. In some places it’s ten dollars. If you go before 5 p.m. it’s only about $8.50. For two people freedom costs about thirty bucks these days.

It was probably a little cheaper years ago — maybe fourteen dollars. At least, that’s what I think it cost to see “Braveheart.” “The Patriot” was a little more, about 20 bucks.

Over the years, the price of freedom has become increasingly higher, but if Mel Gibson has anything to do with battle, then freedom is usually worth the price.

Back in 1980, Mel fought for New Zealand in “Gallipoli,” struggling for world freedom during World War I. I think that the battle of “Gallipoli” cost about three dollars a person back then — a great movie and a great price. At that time, Mel was a lesser known star, having really only been seen
in the first “Mad Max” film.

In the early eighties, Mel ventured to “Thunderdome” and fought for the post-apocalyptic freedom of children, at the rather inexpensive, non-futuristic price tag of four dollars a blow. “Beyond Thunderdome” was the final episode in the Mad Max trilogy, but it broke new ground for the sci-fi epics — it featured Mel as a futuristic freedom fighter.

The “Lethal Weapon” movies saw Mel fighting to preserve the American way of life. Mel really plays more of a freedom protector rather than a freedom fighter, but nevertheless, the ultimate gist of the “Weapon” flicks is freedom. The “Weapon” films saw a range of prices, starting at about four dollars and fifty cents.

Then there was “Braveheart” — the ultimate Mel Gibson epic revolving
around that one magic word, “freedom.”

It is a formula that works for Mel and it is one that he has returned to again and again. Even “Chicken Run,” a claymation children’s movie, has the same underlying theme. Even if the movie’s main character’s are chickens, it is still about, yes, that’s right — freedom.

In “The Patriot,” Mel Gibson is fighting for the ultimate American dream once again (and just in time for the Fourth of July).

He bashes, beats, stabs, shoots and tomahawks his way through the Redcoat army. Mel even carries the American flag to victory in one of the movies most impressive battles.

Mel gets mad. Mel sheds blood. Mel fights for freedom.

And, we the people, the movie going public, pay the price — and continue to pay the price.

Brian Barsuglia

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