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Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Great for it's subtleness that says so much
I saw this movie yesterday with my mom and aunt, and I liked it enough that I saw it again today with one of my friends. This is such a unique movie and brings up so many interesting topics for discussion. Now, I have to admit that a big part of why I first wanted to see this movie is because I love Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. I think that they are so adorable and it's great to see them taking on challenging roles that don't really resemble any roles either has previously played. Now that I've said that, I would like to talk about the movie.
WARNING!: Big Spoilers Ahead...so if you have not seen the movie yet, you may not want to read on.
This is such a sad story. None of the characters are happy in the long run, but in a lot of ways I feel the worst for Alma. When discussing this movie with my mother she mentioned how in the 60's and 70's (the major time periods in which this movie took place) people used to think that you could turn someone gay, which now we know is crazy, but at that time Alma very likely could have blamed herself and thought that she did something to drive him into the arms of another man. I feel sorry for Jack and Ennis too though. Because of society's bigotry they were too afraid to be with the person they truly loved and therefore had very sad lives. I have several gay male friends and as a straight woman, I can't begin to think I understand what they go through, but I feel like this movie does a good job at showing some of the difficulties gay people may go through. I also want to commend Ang Lee, Jake, and Heath on the love scenes in this movie. There's enough so that people can see the physicality of the relationship and the passion that exists(especially when they share that amazing kiss outside of Ennis' home), but not so much that people would get too distracted from the love story. My friend also pointed out how most relationships start with a strong physical attraction, but as they continue they develop into something that is so much more, which this movie shows, the men grow and talk and share a spiritual connection beyond a sexual interest. This can also be seen in all of the subtle elements Ang put into the movie to show their love. Some of these are like when Jack tries to clean Ennis' head wound, when Jack brushes his hand against Ennis' cheek, when Jack sees Ennis after finding out about the divorce and the way he puts his hand around Ennis' head, then when he breaks down as he drives away, and even more that are too many to list. As I watched those scenes I kept thinking that is so sweet or so cute, just as I did when Ennis and Alma go sledding. All of these parts add so much, even though they are so small. I know that in an interview Jake Gyllenhaal commented on his worry of making the love scenes look authentic, which I think they did. I believed that the men were in love, the only part I thought may have been a little less realistic was when they kissed outside the house and both men kept their hands on the others' face, I would have thought that if making out, a persons hands would usually go down to the shoulders and or waist, but maybe not. Overall, I really liked this movie, which may be because of the hot guys, it may be because I am from a younger generation who has a different understanding and acceptance of homosexuality, or it could just be because it was a really good movie. I also read Annie Proulx's story and this movie really did the story justice. The original story, only about 30 pages, said so much with so few words and the movie does the same. We see the love grow and the relationship form as they are herding the sheep, even though no words, or very few, are being used. I gave this movie a 9/10 only because I feel like the story seems a bit unreal, would the guys really have waited that long to be with each other and could Jack really have visited for that long of a time period that many times a year? I know that is more of a commentary on the story, not the movie, but I still think it's one of those things that can take away from the movie a bit. I said so much already and I still wish I could say more, but the best thing I can say is if you haven't seen the movie yet, see it, because even if you don't enjoy it like I did, it will still provide a lot to talk about.