Sunday, January 01, 2006

Brokeback Review

We ended up seeing Brokeback Mountain at a matinee showing yesterday in Bethesda. The movie is only playing in two movie theaters in the metro DC area, and the Dupont theater is incredibly tiny and not stadium seating, so you risk looking at the back of some ugly bouffant instead of Jakey-poo's beautiful blues. Thus, the forty-five minute, two-line metro ride to Bethesda instead, and another incredibly crowded theater, but we got good seats, some tasty popcorn, and a Coca-Cola Classic as big as my head.

I don't think I have to say that it was an amazingly good story with amazingly good acting (and good looking-actors). We all know it is and if you haven't yet seen it, you're missing one of the best movies to come along in a very long time. I will say, watching the movie made me remember why I need to NOT read or listen to reviews and thoughts by other people before experiencing it myself. I kept hearing, "Oh god it's so sad!" "I bawled my eyes out!" "So tragic!" When I hear too much of that I start thinking what I should be feeling based on popular views, rather than just watching the damn movie and feeling what I want to feel. So that kind of distracted me.

I'd really like to see it again, like Maisnon said, because I think there is a lot of detail and it was impossible to catch it all. Okay, now the spoilers start, so stop reading if you haven't seen it. Details like Jack's reaction when Ennis says he can't believe he left his t-shirt on the mountain. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but now I want to rewind that moment.

There are a number of things you can take away from the movie. At it's simplest, you can just enjoy it as a love story that's both beautiful and tragic. It's also a comment on society, where wide-suppression and hateful attitudes force others to live their lives in secret, causing heartache - and worse - to them and their families.

There was something bigger, though, something more important, if only because it could be spoken to every person in the audience personally, rather than just experiencing it and sympathyzing with it as part of Annie Proulx's story. (Spoilers again.) Jack (fucking) Twist dies terribly at the end, but the tragedy is not in the hate crime alone. The tragedy is that he dies in exactly the way Ennis feared they both would. That Ennis sacrificed true love (:a life truly lived) because of society's rejection of their love, and by doing that, he hoped, saving them both from that rejection and a terrible end. Yet, it ended that way anyway. So if they couldn't change the world, they could have at least enjoyed their time together. That's really what Jack knew all along; he was going to be who he was even if it ended up killing him, because otherwise, what was the point? To live a life full of pain like Ennis?

And that is, what I think, something everyone can empathsize with, even if it's not as emotionally charged as being gay in the sixties in the countryside. Just that you should live your life the way you want, even if you're worried or scared of the consequences, because what are you going to do at the end of your life when you've lost all your chances to be happy?


At 5:57 PM, January 01, 2006, Blogger maisnon said...

Excellent, excellent review!

I have to say, one of the best things about being Netflix's #1 customer is being able to replay certain scenes, catch background details, etc. I love the theater experience, and won't stop going - but there is also something to controlling the movie.

At 6:43 PM, January 01, 2006, Blogger G. said...

That's one thing I liked about it too, how it affected the families, because it made a nice point that homophobia (or racism, or whatever) doesn't hurt just those being persecuted, it hurts everybody, in ways that are sometimes unexpected (such as, you know, one day looking out your front door and seeing your husband kissing a man on your stairs).

At 7:27 PM, January 01, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

Maisnon - I'm with you, I could write a book on the many reasons why Netflix has made my soul complete.

GG - In the theater there were no less than TWO couples sitting behind us who wouldn't fucking stop the chatter. One of the women actually laughed at that scene (Elma catching them kissing out her front door). Can you believe that? I mean, go see Rumor Has It if you can't handle a complex dramatic movie.


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