Saturday, March 11, 2006

Love is a Force of Nature

I watched the much awaited flick Brokeback Mountain. It is an unusual movie. It talks about forbidden emotions. It rips open closeted taboos. It blurs that thin rubicon between what is acceptable and what should be unacceptable. The film dwells upon the little secrets that make life worthwhile. Secrets that often go to the grave as we die. Impossible love!

We often lead straight, normal, regular lives. Acceptable and loved. Maverick director Ang Lee touches upon a very sensitive topic -- at a time of extreme rightwingism -- and comes out with amazing results. The film is a powerhouse of emotions. Highly anticipated and told with stunning truthfulness. One word: Intense.

My guess is that the film won't do brisk business in India. It is not your usual hollywood fare. Huge heros. Black hawks. Dazzle. Imagery. Nothing of that sort. The film borders on the offbeat genre. It is European art-house in its overall feel. The silences speak. Audiences in India generally require a big dose of everything. Emotions, melodrama, action -- whatever! Brokeback has subdued, real emotions but nothing appears loud. It is all very very aesthetic. There is nothing for the pedestrian. I reckon, apart from our liberal intellectuals, queer activists and may be a limited brainy lot like it.

Set against the sweeping vistas of Wyoming and Texas, Brokeback Mountain is the story of two handsome young men Ennis del Mar -- quiet and lot of airs -- played by Heath Ledger and Jack Twist -- naughty and optimistic -- played by Jake Gyllenhaal.They meet on a shepherding job on the Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming. The year is 1963. 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 shepherds up on the majestic Brokeback Mountain, they gravitate towards camaraderie and then a deeper intimacy. The film beautifully documents their complex and emotional relationship over the next twenty years.

Jack Twist: [looking over at Ennis in the firelight; he has laid back and is looking up at the stars, smiling] Anything interesting up there in heaven?
Ennis Del Mar: [for the first time in a long time, content] I was just sending up a prayer of thanks.
Jack Twist: For what?
Ennis Del Mar: [with a wink and a smile] For you forgettin' to bring that harmonica. I'm enjoyin' the peace and quiet.

I won't spoil the party for those who are yet to catch it.

It is indeed an epic American love story. Career defining performances. Marvellous cinematography. Romantic. 130 minutes of emotive trek. Ridden with obstacles. Alone, private moments. Far from the maddening crowds. Love can be impossible!

The original story ' Brokeback Mountain' has gotten the coverted Pulitzer Prize, the highest prize in literature in the US. At the 78th Academy Awards, the movie bagged the Best Director - Ang Lee, Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana) and Best Original Score - (Gustavo Santaolalla). They didn't give it the best film trophy. Love, as they say, isn't so easy!

Whats more ...the film's already grabbed 50 different awards, chiefly:

59th BAFTA Award
Directors Guild of America Award
European Film Award
63rd Golden Globe Award
Independent Spirit Award
Producer's Guild Award
62nd Venice International Film Festival: "Golden Lion" for Best Film
Writers Guild of America Award

sameer bhat


Samir Bhat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
anjali said...

btwn. whats up

Trevor Martin, San Francisco USA said...

When I saw Brokeback Mountain I really believed it would warm some hearts, melt other hearts that needed thawing and bring people together.

Brokeback Mountain is a masterpiece and a few people can't see beyond their own fear and loathing.

It breaks my heart. Maybe I was idealistic.

[VicolaW], Bury, United Kingdom said...

I saw Brokeback Mountain and I wouldn't rave about it. I don't care if the characters are straight men or gay men, it's just that as a film it didn't do much for me. Don't assume that everyone who doesn't think this film should win every award .

Iain Baillie, Musselburgh, United Kingdom said...

I liked brokeback mountian it was abit slow but it is really good story.

Laurent, Talahasee, US said...

It is acknowledged worldwide that Brokeback Mountain is a good film.
And your review just proves that!

George R. Walker, Rehoboth Beach DE said...

Growing up in the 60s and 70s the true anguish of the love afair in this movie could be felt deep down inside myself. The proformances of both Jake and Heath were so true to fact of life as director Ang Lee put it on film. It was by far a needed boost to the gay culture. Loved it and thanks to JAKE, HEATH AND ANG FOR A GREAT MOVIE.!!!!!!

Alex Rosen, London said...

It is tragic that the beautifully crafted and arguably the most unconventionally hollywood movie up for any awards this season, Brokeback didnt get the best picture.

Cool review here. Best, I've read.

fuzzair said...

splendid, touching review

ossy said...

I thoroughly enjoyd the movie despite being straight because it talks about love and love transcends all definitions. I think the book 'brokeback mountain' on which this movie is based is far better.

Anonymous said...

dear sameer,
well sensed and well felt! writing ofcourse has followed that.
after seeing Brokeback mountain the first thing that came to my mind was "Ang lee". he is a hero , a revolutionist and a path-breaker.
When I fell in love 3-years back, i always use to feel not even in a single movie ,my emotions have been shown or portrayed. I always felt a huge gap on what is shown on celluloid and what is in my heart.
The world always seem to be..... i dont know what but so many intellectual stuff but why not a love between two men when it was so common? why is there a huge assumption that only straight males are a part of huge audience?After all movies get their business from audiences only .Neverthless, stright males can be sensitive too. just like Ang lee.
Ang lee has some how overcome this mystery by making it almost a main stream cinema.i compare Ang lee to a scientist like Norman E.burlough , the men behind green revolution or Abrahim lincon who spurred a revolution among the blacks.Finally i respect academy's decision because Best movies change every year, but a director of Ang lee calibre is here to stay for ever and ever.

Ken Snelson said...

You write so well. sam, I am so taken in by ur writings. You have a superb grasp over language and a rare activist streak. I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, and I think you often side with the underdogs.

Continue to write this well.