Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brokeback Mountain: A Touching Two-Males Love Story...

Warning: This post contains plot spoilers. Or maybe not. It will definitely be banned in Malaysia. Tun M tak suka peliwat. So, get it from your favourite Uncle Ho's traders if you're not a homophobe and you're really interested, which I bet they will call it 'Gei Ngau Chai', not whatever San movie.

O.K. You might have guessed from the disclaimer. Went to see the much Oscar-hyped Brokeback Mountain last Friday but only have time to review it now.

All images are sourced from and copyrighted to the movie's official website.

Here's the synopsis from its website:
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee comes an epic American love story, based on the short story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx and adapted for the screen by the team of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. Set against the sweeping vistas of Wyoming and Texas, the film tells the story of two young men – a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy – who meet in the summer of 1963, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love. Early one morning in Signal, Wyoming, Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet while lining up for employment with local rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid). The world which Ennis and Jack have been born into is at once changing rapidly and yet scarcely evolving. Both young men seem certain of their set places in the heartland – obtaining steady work, marrying and raising a family – and yet hunger for something beyond what they can articulate. When Aguirre dispatches them to work as sheepherders up on the majestic Brokeback Mountain, they gravitate towards camaraderie and then a deeper intimacy. At summer's end, the two must come down from Brokeback and part ways. Remaining in Wyoming, Ennis weds his sweetheart Alma (Michelle Williams), with whom he will have two daughters as he ekes out a living. Jack, in Texas, catches the eye of a rodeo queen Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway). Their courtship and marriage result in a son, as well as jobs in her father's business. Four years pass. One day, Alma brings Ennis a postcard from Jack, who is en route to visit Wyoming. Ennis waits expectantly for his friend, and when Jack at last arrives, in just one moment it is clear that the passage of time has only strengthened the men's attachment. In the years that follow, Ennis and Jack struggle to keep their secret bond alive. They meet up several times annually. Even when they are apart, they face the eternal questions of fidelity, commitment and trust. Ultimately, the one constant in their lives is a force of nature – love. -- © Focus Features

I'm going to save my review here as you can read plenty of them from professional reviewers from the press and mags here. Although I would agree with most of the reviews there and the movie deserved winning the Golden Lion Best Picture in the 2005 Venice International Film Festival and 7 Golden Globe nominations (and tipped to follow suit in the Oscars), but generally here were some flaws, IMHO:

1. Building up of the love relationship.
As mentioned in the review above, it was 'changing rapidly and yet scarcely evolving'. Two desperate cowboys seeking jobs together and worked together. Then on one night 'kon chai lit fuo' (dry woods spark fire), the slept and er...'you know what' together. Now, it seems to be a one-night- stand but it was not. They still fancy each other. But did anyone know why? Was it 'yat kau siong cheng' (love built up through everyday-meet)? It would be better if they could show more caring and affection to each other, which was unfortunately shown only once when Jack wiped off Ennis' bruised forehead. That's all.

2. Both Jack and Ennis must have been taking jamu (an anti-ageing Indonesian traditional medicine) to awet muda (perservation of youth).
Assuming the movie which spanned over 20 years, but they didn't seem to age that much, did they?

No, Jack, growing a moustache doesn't make you look older.

Seriously, they look more like a pair of brother-sister more than father-daughter to me. Ennis did not seem to grow old even after her daughter grew up so much.

3. Jack shaved his moustache but mysteriously grew back the next day. Very heavily and neatly indeed.
If I'm not mistaken, in the most memorable scene where they finally voiced out their frustrations of their dragging and uncertain 'underground' relationship, Jack was without a moustache. But when they woke up the next day, he was with his moustache back, mysteriously! Erhmmm...?

4. Ennis would have at least shed some tears after Jack died abruptly.
Maybe his tears had ran dry. Maybe he pretended to be tough. Maybe he want their secret to be kept forever. Many other maybes. But aww..c'mon. Couldn't you show direct some angry tears by Heath, Ang Lee? People (at least me) would really want to see some intense tears (not the crybaby or crocodile type), but an angry and frustrated cry.

Haiyo...shirt hugging isn't enough. Shed some tears a bit lar. Let it flow. Let it flow.

For these flaws, I would rate the film as 7/10, minus 3 marks from the perfect score.

Moral of the film? Everyone turn gay and start liwating? NO!!! Find and pursue your love and cherish it while it still exists. Never under-estimate they power of love.

p.s. I just don't get it why the concept of transferring hundreds of sheep across some mountain. For what? Oh...and I so want one of their accent trainer to train me some British accent. I'm still faking it after more than 2 years now.

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