maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller



It's been three days since I saw Brokeback Mountain, and I can't stop thinking about it. Let me first say: See This Movie. It is one of the few recent movies that I wouldn't hesitate to call capital-I-Important.

Heath Ledger has been getting accolades aplenty for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar, and they are well-deserved. Ledger completely transforms himself in this role; he speaks, moves, and breathes Ennis. As Jack Twist Jake Gyllenhall is, while marginally less brilliant than Ledger, is the character that makes you believe that these two could be in love, if only because you see in his every move how much he himself believes it.

The sheer sadness of the story is what has kept it on my mind all week. It's hard to remember when you watch the movie and are immersed in the Western scenery that the movie takes place in the 1960's up through the eighties. This isn't the nineteenth century, and it can't be dismissed as history. When Ennis recalls the brutal murder of a gay man (and when one is seen later on in the film), the Matthew Shephard connection is unavoidable. A period piece this is not.

Unable to imagine a life together after an idyllic summer on Brokeback Mountain tending sheep, Ennis and Jack part ways. There is no teary goodbye, buy each realizes what he is leaving behind. Jack breaks down in his pickup as he drives away, and in a nearby alley Ennis violently cries and vomits as his reality sets in.

Jack's marriage to Lureen (Anne Hathaway-- watch her last scene, it's brilliant) is probably the most unhappy marriage ever in a Western, next to Ennis and Alma's (the revelatory Michelle Williams) marriage. Ennis and Jack lead terrible lives punctuated by the shocking passion and sadness of their occasional reunions.

Two twentieth century cowboys trapped by society and paralyzed their own lives and fears, Ennis and Jack could have been saved by one tiny thing.

Each other.

At the end of the movie Ennis is wracked by grief after losing the man he always loved, and more importantly the chance they once had together. For the first time Ennis is able to verbalize his twenty-year commitment to Jack, the man who could tritely be called his soulmate. It's a terrible moment, and one that is awesome to watch. Don't miss it.


  • At 3/30/2011 9:57 AM, Anonymous PLay Risk Online said…

    This is my girlfriends favorite movie, I must have seen it a half dozen times. Cool film, no disputing that, but how on earth do I drag her away from the DVD player? lol


Post a Comment

<< Home