The film focuses on their battles and struggles in this war over the next several years such as the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. During the course of the film, Dobbs son is both sheltered by the local Indians as well as captured by the British, only to be rescued by his father. Donald Sutherland appears as Sergeant Major Peasy, a harsh archetype of a British soldier. During his travels Dobbs meets and falls in love with Daisy McConnahay, played by Nastassja Kinski. Daisy comes from a wealthy Torry family, yet she rejects the hypocrisy of the status quo in favor of the revolutionary cause. Along his journey, Tom Dobbs appears at Valley Forge as well as The Battle of Yorktown and its subsequent surrender, which concludes the movie.
Revolution creates the character of Tom Dobbs as a microcosm for the real American colonists that were forced by circumstance to fight against British rule. While his character is fictional, the battles he encounters actually were waged. The Battle of Brooklyn christened the Declaration of Independence, and it did result in both the occupation of New York by the British Army for the entire war along with the execution of Nathan Hale (Gallager 1995). Of course, odds are that an individual soldier would have never actually experienced as many significant battles as Tom Dobbs; however, it is his travels that allow the audience the scope of these battles. Furthermore, the film does include the Huron and Iroquois tribes presenting the Indian presence of New York as both friend and foe. Even though the two tribes were enemies, and even though colonists had alliances with the Huron, it is interesting to note that the Hurons also sided with the British during the revolutionary war (www.tolatsga.org). Still by making a fur trapper the protagonist, the film takes on a specific reality, the reality of the common man that fought the Revolutionary War. Other war movies about other wars often focus on the plight of the common man such as Saving Private Ryan. But Revolutionary War movies are unique in that they almost always focus on the reality of a Washington, Adams, or Jefferson. Maybe this is because the reality of the time was that for the most part only wealthy educated individuals documented their experiences. There is in fact a scene in which Tom Dobbs cannot read a list of names in his quest to find Daisy. Thus, the reality was that the majority of the individuals responsible for battling the British were exactly common men, just like the character of Tom Dobbs.
The settings in Revolution are a mixed blessing. Sometimes the shots of the English countryside stand in well for the forests of 18th century America. Other times, especially with some of the scenes shot in Norway, the foreign coastline indeed appears foreign and unlike the East Coast of the United States. Nevertheless, some scenes do ring true such as the shot of the British Army staking out their claim of superiority through the use of tents on a hillside only to see their stake washed away by the reality of a morning downpour. The costumes in the movie also seem to reflect quite an attention to detail, especially in the opening scenes of the 18th Century New York citizenry as well as the uniforms