Brokeback Mountain review by Right of Center

Let me start off with saying… I’m not gay!!! I was forced by my girlfriend to see this movie and when entering the theater I counted 4 other males amidst probably 40 people total. I had the same look as the other macho men had, that look of a caged animal wondering how the ‘F’ did I get here. Well I actually know how I got there, I couldn’t win the argument on why it’s ok to watch women getting it on versus why its nasty when men do. Anyways having cleared all that up, this was a very good movie and I’d highly recommend it. There are a few scenes that made me cringe, ya know the old ass up head down action made me feel really uncomfortable but if you can get past that then the story itself is palatable.

Whether you are too straight or tough or whatever to see this move the reality is that what you might think the stereotype is for a gay male may not be very accurate. The director Ang Lee presents almost the exact opposite of what, I think, we all imagine the stereotype to be. Here we have two Marlboro type men acting in ways that just don’t compute.

The movie is based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx and adapted by Larry McMurtry. Larry McMurtry wrote the book ‘Lonesome Dove’ which is one of my all time favorite made for TV series. If you know that TV series from 1989, you will recognize the last sentence spoken in Brokeback Mountain as a Larry McMurtry favorite.

The story begins in 1963 in Wyoming where the two cowboys meet looking for work as sheepherders (yes herding sheep but that’s all they did with them). Their relationship began out in the wilderness on a cold night and … well that’s all I got to say about that. They continue their association throughout the herding season all the while understanding the taboo. Nevertheless they parted ways after the season was over but the two were mentally connected. Jack Twist the rodeo cowboy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is the more aggressive of the two, heads back to Texas and takes up the rodeo life again. Ennis Del Mar, Heath Ledger, is more quiet and reserved, he stays home in Wyoming, gets married and starts a family. I was more than happy to see women at this point in the movie. As time goes by you get the sense that Ennis misses his old pal by the way he occasionally ‘Takes’ the wife. Four years go by when Ennis gets a post card from Jack who is also married at this point. As the two men re-acquaint each other the glue of their normal lives starts to become undone. This effects Jack less, who is more reckless anyways but for Ennis, who battles his demons a little more internally, has more trouble.

What I really liked about the movie was that it takes place over a long period of time (about 20 years). It wasn’t about two homosexuals getting it on in the mountains but about two men living somewhat normal lives with their families with the underlying conflicted need to be with each other. They each live their lives very differently with their trials and tribulations all the while planning those crazy fishing trips. It’s all about the power of love I suppose. The music was ok, the scenery was awesome and the acting in this movie was excellent. I don’t pay too much attention to the Oscars but Heath Ledger did an outstanding acting performance and should get the best actor in my opinion.

8 out of 10 Jackasses
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