Sunday, January 08, 2006

Review: Brokeback Mountain

Yesterday I finally went to see Brokeback Mountain. It only just opened Friday at a theatre close enough to me to reasonably see. I went to a Saturday matinee, and the theatre was packed. It actually made me a little teary just to walk in and look around at all the people there. All ages, all types of people.

The movie was great. I can't even think of a good way to review it. The movie is both a simple love story and an extremely complicated look at how everyone involved is affected by the relationship of two men who, for many reasons, are not willing to make their relationship public. I think the film gives a fair look at how the relationship between Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) touches everyone - especially their wives and children - while also showing the the passion of the relationship between the men and their desire to be together and the impossibility of things working out as they would hope.

Ennis, Ledger's character, is really the main focus of the film - the conflict is mostly his. He is a man who feels completely trapped - trapped by his feelings, trapped by the marriage he has, trapped by the relationship he wants but can't have, trapped by society, and trapped by his own feelings of guilt, doubt, fear. At one point he says: "If you can't fix it, you have to stand it." That is his attitude about life - he has to withstand life - and it is a heartbreaking way to spend life, just trying to "stand it."

Storyline aside, the set is gorgeous. The story is meant to take place on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming, but was filmed in Canada. Beautiful.

Acting was superb. I'm a big fan of both Ledger and Gyllenhaal, but I was impressed that they were totally lost into the characters they were portraying. They really seemed to live into the roles. Michelle Williams was especially excellent in her supporting role as Ennis' wife, and Kate Mara, in a small role as Ennis' daughter, was also stand-out.

I wish I could write a better review. But I definitely recommend the movie.
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