Despite the controversy of this film – I still wanted to see it. My reasons being: I’m not bigoted; I’d rather form my own opinions; and it stars the late, great, Heath Ledger. So I tucked myself up in bed and settled down to watch. And I have to say I’m really glad I did. This film was a complete eye-opener, and so different from a lot of modern films. It took a serious look at homosexuality, and what it meant for people in the 60s, particularly in America.
Brokeback Mountain tells the story of two hard-working young cowboys who meet in the summer of 1963 whilst looking for work. They are sent to look after sheep on Brokeback Mountain. As they spend more time together, they unexpectedly form a relationship, which quickly becomes more serious, despite both men denying their homosexuality. They battle their feelings for one another; and at the end of their season on the mountain they part ways, and both go on to have relationships with women, and marry. But no matter how hard they try, the two cannot hide their underlying feelings, and so they meet up and go out into the country together, seemingly just two friends on a fishing trip. But it goes much deeper, and the pair only feel they can be themselves whilst away from prying eyes.
The years, and time to reflect, take their toll and the two desperately wish things could be different, but know full well how homosexuality is viewed in their day and age. They half-heartedly continue with their marriages, counting down the days when they can see one another again. Eventually, Ennis’ (Ledger) marriage breaks down, leaving him a free man – but still they do not take the plunge, fearing society too much. Both men live depressing half-lives, except when they are together, when they feel truly alive.
Sadly though, this love story does not have a happy ending. I won’t ruin it for you, but I think it’s an important moral: be true to yourself, and grab every opportunity of happiness whilst you can.
If you have no prejudices (and sadly, many people still do) – then there’s no reason you won’t enjoy this film. It is a simple, but tragic love story – think Romeo and Juliet, but with two men. Beautiful, and poignant.