Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brokeback Mountain

I watched 'Brokeback Mountain' on telly the other night. Its been on my 'to watch: eventually' list ever since it came out a few years ago. It wasn't worth the wait.

It was one of those films with great performances and stunning scenery and was beautifully shot and all that, but I really didn't care what happened next at any point. An hour into the film and I could quite easily have gone to bed and would not have bothered to ask anyone how the film ended.

Two things put me off the film. The first thing is perhaps the most important as it was the crucial scene in the first part of the film - the first time Ennis and Jack, erm, get physical. Maybe its because I'm not a closet homosexual, but that scene just didn't ring true to me. The sexual tension built up a bit and then - all of a sudden - it was belts-off, trousers-down, rodgering... nothing tentative, no foreplay, not even any snogging first, just straight to it. Is that the way it works? Maybe it it, maybe I've led a sheltered life, but it just didn't ring true to me. And given that the rest of the film relies on that scene ringing true to the audience, the film lost me there.

The other thing that annoyed me about the film was the timeline. It jumped several years in time with no warning and little explanation. OK, so we could observe time passing as hairstyles changed and kids grew older, but as neither of the lead characters aged much it didn't ring true either. By the end of the film, when nearly 20 years have passed since the first scenes, Jack still looks like a bloke in his mid 20s and - being generous here - Ennis is clearly not much above 40. Some better use of makeup would have been appropriate. Perhaps Jack could have had a bit of middle aged spread?

The story is basically: two closet gay guys meet, fall in love and live unhappily ever after. The end.

Yes it may have been art, yes it may have told me something about human behaviour and emotions, but no it was not gripping and was not entertaining. So it fails to meet my basic expectations of a movie. Shame.

Will have to go and see Indiana Jones to compensate... ;o)



At 3:31 pm, Blogger David Meldrum said...

All I'm saying is that I think it's a masterpiece, and I find it almost unbearably tense and moving

At 3:50 pm, Blogger Ricky Carvel said...

I'd kind of have expected that of you... Whereas for me, the most 'unbearably tense and moving' film I've seen in recent years is Speilberg's 'War of the worlds'... As we've seen before, we have quite different taste in movies.


At 4:57 pm, Blogger David Meldrum said...

For the record I thought that War of The Worlds was excellent....

At 6:51 pm, Blogger Marcus G said...

It kind of starts miserably and goes down hill from there. Now, it is shot beautifully, and every scene is fantastically framed - and if you like your story telling slow and meandering and downright depressing, it carries a certain melancholic something.

But: I agree with your critique. The leads are young and remain so; there is physicality and anger (overwhelming at times) and occasional tenderness (repressed, solitary, not expressed or reciprocated) but no romance.

Then again, it is an Ang Lee film. A sort of gay American 'Remains of the Day'.

I saw Stardust the other day - rather bizarre, but altogether a better cinematic experience; & I can't wait for Indy, though I fear it will be fun & forgettable.


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