Review No. 600
It’s worth bending over backward to watch.
Director — Ang Lee
Producers — James Schamus, Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
Screenplay — Mr. McMurtry & Ms. Ossana
Based on — Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
Heath Ledger — Ennis Del Mar
Jake Gyllenhaal — Jack Twist
Anne Hathaway — Lureen Newsome Twist
Michelle Williams — Alma Beers Del Mar
Randy Quaid — Joe Aguirre
Distributor — Focus Features
Release Date — December 9, 2005 (USA); December 23, 2005 (Canada)
Language — English
Country — Canada & USA
Running Time — 2 hours, 14 minutes
MPAA — — SEXUALITY, NUDITY, LANGUAGE AND SOME VIOLENCE.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN WAS WATCHED ON AUGUST 31, 2013.
Ang Lee is the Stanley Kubrick of Taiwanese-American filmmakers. He’s a genius and he doesn’t want to exploit that, so much as turn it into something magnificent. Furthermore, he’s never done the same movie twice. In fact, he’s always doing something completely unexpected. Even Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was unexpected, considering Lee’s absence in Taiwan for six years, and his existence only in wedding dramas (not martial arts movies) before then. But if you look at every Ang Lee movie, you’ll notice Lee has a technique to which he abides. He uses his lavish, large-scale fascination to conduct everything he makes into something unforgettable. He turns characters into epic heroes this way, too, and with this he amazes most with the two in Brokeback Mountain.
The movie says to believe in what is to be believed, not what is said by the majority to be right. Lee was looking for anything but the controversy he got when he went about the story about two homosexual cowboys. They meet and waste their days away up at Brokeback Mountain, but there’s a certain shame that falls upon them when they’re keeping this secretive. It’s highly debatable as to what kind of love they actually have for their wife and kids. When they meet each other again will cause heartbreak, but they’re prepared.
The movie is simply outstanding. These characters could have just as easily been a bit for small talk in any other drama, as their conversations are more often than not restrictive of any love life between them. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are almost in a “who’s better” competition with each other, and they’re both so good in there’s roles. It’s not about making them into likable characters, though, so much as about bringing out the story that captivates us along their journey. The idea of pitching two homosexuals in a romantic epic drama doesn’t make it new. Is a love scene really any different this way, when we’re talking about a technique that’s as old as talking pictures themselves? No, but in reasserting the struggles met in the story, the love scene becomes a greater element to everything.
There’s nothing unheard of here. Then again, there’s nothing heard of, either. The movie can be silent at times, but even that can be distilling. Brokeback Mountain had me emotional by the end; it’s one of five movies that made me cry. It all flows peacefully like a river, and if not, it rains teardrops.