14 June 2011

Brokeback Mountain

There are a lot of westerns out there, and they all have one thing in common; manly, gruff talking men in Stetsons shooting Indians and each other. Sometimes there's a pretty woman involved too. Then this film came along and revolutionised the idea of these manly, gun slinging men and made them more real. OK, so it's not really a Western so much, it's more of a film with cowboys in, but you get the jist.

For those of you who have never seen or heard of Brokeback Mountain, it follows the lives of two men who look after sheep one summer on Brokeback Mountain. During that time, they form a tenuous relationship and become lovers. The mountain becomes a safe haven for them both throughout their lives, as they live in continual fear of being found out.

The film won 3 Oscars, 3 Baftas and 4 Golden Globes as well as various other awards. I can see why. Not only does it have a superb cast (with the likes of Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway in the foremost roles) but it also is a beautiful and tragic story of a love that is never fulfilled. It gives us an insight into the lives of gay men in that time.

I was touched by the raw emotion coming out of every character, particularly in the performances of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, but also in that of Michelle Williams. I think she did a brilliant job of displaying the character and her mixed feelings to the point where, although these things have never happened to me, I could completely understand and empathise with her.

There were, however, a few things that ruined this film for me. Firstly, Heath Ledger sometimes mumbled his lines to the point where I could hardly tell what he was saying. Considering he has the last line of the film, and I don't know what he says, I think this is quite a big problem.

The plot is also a little mixed, so sometimes I couldn't quite tell what was happening or to who. This is good for scenes like in the tent, where the gay action is kept hidden from the viewer on purpose, but it can sometimes be confusing in other scenes.

The film may not be watchable for people who consider being gay to be a crime against nature, but apart from this it tells a beautiful story about forbidden love with some extremely beautiful settings. I think this deserves a 9/10.