Brokeback Mountain

This is my first cinema-going experience of 2006 and I figured it might be entertaining for me to keep track of such stuff at With the “all-you-can-eat” style cinema pass my wife and I have subscribed to I’m expecting to see a lot of stuff on the big screen that I might otherwise have dismissed.

I’d heard plenty regarding Brokeback Mountain but wasn’t particularly bothered about seeing the movie. If anything, all the critical acclaim being gushed over it around Hollywood’s Oscar season made me suspect that the praise was more political than anything else. After all, what about that year when the best actor and actress awards when to black actors (Denzel Washington and Halle Berry) ? I’m not saying they were undeserved but, come on Hollywood, you could try to make things a little less obvious huh?

I’m glad I saw the movie and recommend it without hesitation.

Visually, the scenes of the plains, moutains and other frontier vistas are as eyecatching and impressive as you would expect from a director of Ang Lee’s pedigree. To be honest, outside of those scenes there wasn’t much directorial flair on show but there certainly weren’t any gaffes or areas where things didn’t work.

The story of two 1960’s ranchers that fall in love with each other is unconventional to say the least. It’s an idea that you may have needed to be told twice before it sunk in. It’s a huge credit to the movie that, despite the unorthodox theme and unforgiving social context for it to be set in that it’s delivered in such a believable manner. There is absolutely nothing alarmist and exploitative in the pivotal scene where the two main characters realise their feelings – although it may make some folk feel mildly uncomfortable. The film has better things to do than pander to any viewers lascivious tastes however. It moves on dealing with the emotions of these two seperate characters (one quiet and withdrawn, the other more free-spirited) and how their lives proceed over the next twenty years.

Like much of the initial scenery, there are vast expanses of open, empty space in the film’s dialogue and it succeeds in telling it’s story and conveying the growth, frustrations and sadness of it’s two main characters as much as in what isn’t said as in what is. There’s always plenty to concentrate on behind the eyes of the protagonists and much of it is sad and melancholy.

This is not to say that this is a depressing film. It certainly isn’t a happy one but it is weighed down with the burdens of responsibiliy and conforming to what is expected in a society at the expense of personal gratification.

I was genuinely moved by the film and the story it told and would encourage anybody looking for a serious, mature but less mainstream movie to see it sooner rather than later.

Oscars? Nominations – certainly, but I suspect with some more political movies floating around such as Munich and Good Night and Good Luck the Academy may indulge their political and historical leanings again when it comes to making a final decision.

1 Response

  1. Dr Kong January 18, 2006 / 12:06 pm

    Well I’ll hopefully be seeing this at the weekend. I’m glad you enjoyed it, means I can expect a movie of some quality which is desperately needed after seeing the latest Harry Potter film. Oh and I can be rebellious to my parents and society at the same time 😀

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