Rated “R” for Adult Themes, Sexual Content, Nudity, Language, and Innuendo
Ya know it could be like this, just like this always. -Jack Twist
Two cowboys looking for work find a job sheep herding on Brokeback Mountain in the year of 1963. In the beautiful wilderness of Wyoming, Ennis Del Mar who is a young man about to be married, dreams of owning and running his own ranch someday. His partner, Jack Twist, is passing the time till he can achieve his dreams of becoming the greatest rodeo cowboy ever. During their time of enduring the hardships of a working cowboy, Ennis and Jack develop a bond that goes far beyond that of a normal friendship. After a night of indulging in alcohol the temperature begins to drop and the men break the rule of one staying with the sheep while the other sleeps in the tent. Together they spoon to get warm, which results in an aggressive release of their physical affection for one another. The release of their loneliness and subconscious desires break loose. Afterward, there is much confusion, but soon the two accept their passion for each and spend the summer reveling in their love for one another. But when the summer ends, will their relationship? It is time to face the world outside Brokeback Mountain.
Brokeback Mountain was not the movie I had expected. From the previews I assumed it was a short summer’s love and then they meet a cross road- The End. I never realized how long the two men carried out their relationship and how they dealt with it and the secrecy of their orientation for the rest of their lives. It was actually the deciding factor that seemed to make this film really worthwhile for watching. If the film had simply been the summer of them falling in love together and then ended with them deciding how they would carry on their relationship in the future it would have been trite and boring.
The first half of the film that focuses on them falling in love is a bit on the stereotypical, mushy side, but it has it’s purpose. It gives legitimacy to why the two men endured the things the they did throughout the entirety of the film. The most compelling part of the story was how both Jack and Ennis dealt with their ambiguity and each lived in secrecy for the next twenty years. The way it affected their relationships, their success, and their existence was truly fascinating.
A male and male relationship today is not entirely taboo, whereas the semi wild west full of ignorant ideals about what love and a relationship should entail was very different forty years ago and there was very little tolerance for men like Ennis and Jack. It was this fear and need to keep their love a secret that made the story engaging.
- Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar
- Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist
- Randy Quaid as Joe Aguiire
- Michelle Williams as Alma
- Anne Hathaway as Lureen Newsome
The supporting ladies and Randy Quaid added a great contrast to the love affair of Jack and Ennis. They were the eyes that wondered and gazed in curious desire to understand what it was the men were hiding. Their suspicions were subtle and in some cases obvious, but they created the conflict of interest in a way that made the performances of Heath and Jake even more compelling. Jake was undoubtedly great, and really sold the eager and love sick Jack Twist, but it was Heath Ledger’s playing of Ennis constantly struggling with his inner conflict that made the story so captivating. His mind fighting against his desires and his heart was heart wrenching. It was an outstanding performance from a gifted actor that evoked a real emotional connection to his character.
Ratings and Suggestions
Brokeback Mountain is rated “R” for strong sexual content, nudity, language, and innuendo. Obviously this isn’t a film for a child or even a young teenager, but it’s worth a watch for those with open minds. I fear people will focus too much on the homosexual aspect of Heath Ledger and Jack Gyllenhaal rather than really thinking about the big picture. Unfortunately, due to the first thirty minutes that’s fair because it was full of cliche and boring lovie moments. The film itself was good but I think it was only acclaimed as it was because of the controversial subject matter. It was a decent movie but nothing near Oscar caliber. The film was essentially lonesome and depressing. I enjoyed it but probably won’t revisit it again for a long time. I rate Brokeback Mountain Two and a Half out of Four stars.