Brokeback Mountain

Man, do I remember the controversy that arose from this movie. Directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility, Hulk) and released in 2005, Brokeback Mountain unleashed the marketing gates of hell, because everyone and their mothers had something to say about the movie. Seriously, not only was this film argued about for years, but it was parodied and became a part of the pop-culture for a lot longer than it deserved.

The film follows two young men, Ennis and Jack, who meet and fall in love with each other on Brokeback Mountain. While they're able to get away with this relationship during the initial summer, the relationship becomes more complex once the two are forced away from each other. The rest of the film follows the two men, and the lives they try to lead, for the next decade.

I didn't really like this film. I don't care that it was about two men, I would've felt the same about it if the film were about a heterosexual couple. It takes the cliches of the romantic drama - you know the ones - where two people meet, they fall 'in love', are separated, try to move on, they can't, try to get back together, blah, blah, blah. The only major difference between this and most romantic dramas is Brokeback Mountain's homosexual characters.

The characters are paper-thin too, which is also true for a lot of mainstream romantic dramas. These people don't have personalities, they just behave as they're written. 'Oh, this is the bigoted guy who likes to act bigoted.' 'Oh, this is the grumpy guy, so he always has to be grumpy.' 'This is the shy guy, so his shyness must be prevalent in all of his actions.' None of these people feel like people, so it's difficult to like these characters or their relationships.

Despite being cliche-ridden and having a lame script, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are both able to give great performances with what little we're given. I won't give anything away, but Heath Ledger's performance during the last thirty minutes was pretty touching. Granted, it shouldn't have taken that long for the character to resonate with his audience, but still...

Other than that, there isn't too much else to say. The visuals are pretty good, but there's nothing amazing about them. The soundtrack's OK too, I guess, aside from the fact that a lot of the tracks sound too similar to differentiate from one another.

Brokeback Mountain is a typical romantic drama, only with a homosexual couple slapped in the plot. I've got nothing against homosexuals, and I wish them the best with equal rights, but this movie just does everything in a very typical manner. It's at least better than other mainstream romances such as, say, The Notebook, but that's saying much considering that The Notebook sucks. It's got some good performances by its leading characters, and it does give a new twist on the romantic drama, but there isn't too much else to like about Brokeback Mountain.

5/10 - Average





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