Brokeback Mountain

Discuss your favourite films.
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Re: BROCKBACK MOUNTAIN my review from John in the UK

Unread postby areader » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:18 am




Thank you for this write-up. I have avoided seeing the movie, but reading this analysis, I think I would now be able to go and watch with some understanding.

Yes, there has to be a better way than what is depicted. I guess I could say "too bad they didn't depict the better way", but then I'm in no place to throw stones.


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Re: BROCKBACK MOUNTAIN my review from John in the UK

Unread postby musicmonkey » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:16 pm

areader wrote:I have avoided seeing the movie, but reading this analysis, I think I would now be able to go and watch with some understanding.


I rarely see movies mostly because I'm broke but also because I'm quite picky. I just got my first DVD player about a year ago. I'm a bit behind the times. Anyway, I finally decided to watch Brokeback Mountain, mostly because of all the hype about Heath Ledger in Batman now that he's dead. He's not going to make any more movies, so I wanted to see what everyone was raving about in Brokeback Mountain.

I was pleasantly surprised at how non-gay this movie was. I found this movie to be more about Ledger's character, Ennis, and how emotionally shut off he was. From what we know of his childhood, he was a pretty lonely and isolated man who learned to suck it up and not show any vulnerability. He was a simple small town man who did not waste words. I think Gyllenhaal's character, Jack was the catalyst that could break through Ennis' tough exterior. And while the film suggested a love affair between them, it also suggested a strained secretive friendship where they could escape the hardships of their working class lives and be carefree for a few days a couple of times every year. Ennis even makes a comment about how his entire life is work to pay child support and he doesn't make much money. I think many of us can relate to feeling trapped in the 9-5 rat race of paying bills.

As for the "gay cowboy" issue, the fact that Jack admits to having an affair on his wife with another woman also suggests that if anything they were probably bisexual. No where in the movie does the word gay even come up. Sex is most certainly an ice breaker between any two people, but I think this movie has more to do with the ice breaking than the sex.

I think ice breakers can come in many forms. Time is one of them. When two strangers consistently make an effort to spend time together over years, that too can be an ice breaker. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I've seen it in my own life. Some of my closest friends today I have got to know very slowly over many years. Deep friendship can not happen quickly. It also must be reciprocated. Jack even makes a comment about how he wants more than sex in the mountains a few times a year.

Of course, when two people experience a tragedy, that often bonds them for life too. Likewise, I think even roommates who share their fairly routine lives with one another... cooking, cleaning, watching TV... that too can form a special bond of knowing one another through all the trivialities and mood swings we go through.

Intimacy comes in many forms, not just sexual. Two people can easily have sex but be emotionally distant. This movie definitely focuses more on the emotional maturity of Ennis than on sex. Over twenty years, he slowly learns what is important in life both with Jack and even with his daughter and Jack's parents. The scene in the end where the woman who loves him says, "girls don't fall in love with fun" was especially poignant because while Ennis may have learned many things, he still has much more to learn. He still has a huge wall like so many of us and perhaps the real tragedy of the story is that he may never let that wall down again.

In the end, this movie to me is really about Ennis' psychological prison and the short-lived freedom he finds on his "fishing trips". I think every man can relate to this. I think we all want to be known but are terrified of being known. I think many people today have friendships and marriages where they hold things back to even their friends or their spouse. We put on our Sunday best and smile in public, but we rarely become vulnerable to one another because we're afraid of being hurt. And so live passes us by yet we do not live. If anything, this movie reminded me to live for today and cherish my friends and family, because we do not know if tomorrow will come or when we will lose the ones we love. It's also a challenge to let people into our lives even if we may be hurt.

So the movie was actually much deeper than I had originally thought. I guess that goes to show you how hype isn't always a good indicator of plot.

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