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Customer Review

88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and life-changing, December 22, 2006
This review is from: Brokeback Mountain (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Brokeback Mountain is the tale of two cowboys, Ennis and Jack, who ranch sheep together one summer in the 1960's. One cold night, the two men huddle together in a tent to keep warm, and an explosive physical relationship erupts. They both agree that the night was a "one-shot deal," but somehow the two men keep finding one another again, throughout the summer. After the ranching gig ends, both men nonchalantly tell each other goodbye, but the separation is painful for both. Cut to four years later - the men have gone their separate ways, married, had kids. But when they happen to see each other again, old feelings almost violently assert themselves, leading to a 20-year relationship that is by turns passionate, furtive, and tortured.

First of all, performances by Heath Ledger (Ennis) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Jack) are unbelievable. I cannot adequately describe the performance work in this film. Ledger, who I'd only seen in fairly superficial roles - teen movies, not-so-great romantic comedies - totally transforms himself for this role. Tight-lipped, sun-baked, and shamed, his Ennis provides the tension in the film that powers the plot through to its final, saddening conclusion. Gyllenhaal plays Jack, the more honest, self-accepting of the two men, with an emotion that is strong enough to be real but restrained enough to epitomize the tough guy image of a Western. Both lend a haunting quality to the various ways in which Ennis and Jack try to live their lives, denied of the one thing they truly want.

At the end of the day, Brokeback Mountain is a love story, the tale of two people who love each other but can't be together. This is not untrod territory in Hollywood. However, hanging this familiar storyline on a less-than-mainstream social topic for the movies - homosexuality - proves to be very powerful. The intensity of the two men's feelings for one another, and the delayed gratification that is the bedrock of their relationship, bring their experience into sharp focus for the viewer. Beautiful scenes of mountainous countryside and a strong, simple acoustic guitar accompaniment add to the poignancy. I just cannot recommend it highly enough. It will haunt you. It will make you think. It will move you.

Fair warning - there is one brief sex scene between the two primary characters. If you don't warm to that idea, I recommend getting the film on DVD and fast-forwarding through that part. It is not worth missing the movie over.
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Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 22, 2006 9:52:31 AM PST
mikecalendar says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 22, 2006 10:55:02 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 12, 2007 7:51:33 AM PDT]

Posted on Dec 25, 2006 8:10:15 AM PST
mikecalendar says:
Appreciate the warning about the sex scene. Whew!

Posted on Jan 2, 2007 5:18:35 PM PST
esseyo says:
"I just don't buy it - if you can't stand the physical expression of love, you still don't really get the movie" ... Calm down will you! She said that some people might be repulsed by that scene and some people are. Deal with it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2007 9:04:27 AM PST
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has been picked apart and reviewed a minimum of 1000 times at Amazon since it first hit the screen. It has come out of that with an average of 4.5+ stars out of five--something that is fairly rare for a film and especially so for a controversial one. I think that pretty much says all that need be said.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2007 8:37:58 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 12, 2007 7:51:10 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2007 3:55:58 PM PST
J. Rains says:
Gosh I have had to watch literally thousand of sex scenes between men and women through over 40 years -- and people complain about ONE dark, clothes on, undercovers gay sex scene. Have you considered that was love and not sex?

Posted on Jan 18, 2007 3:40:38 PM PST
Kayla P. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2007 5:03:54 PM PST
Kayla,

Don't you see that it is society's refusal to allow gay people to love openly that indirectly CAUSES these kinds of sham marriages? You can't first encourage gay people to "live straight lives" then get all self-righteously on their case when the heterosexual marriages they enter into don't work out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2007 9:08:22 PM PST
Kayla P. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
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Review Details