Just went see what seems like the movie of the year: Brokeback Mountain.
Again, moved to tears and laughs by this great movie directed by Ang Lee (credits too to Annie Proulx for writing the original novel). All the media hype and discussions about the movie would make you think it's a gay movie...but it's not at all. The main characters are gay, yes, but that's just one small (though not unimportant) aspect of a great love story.
Story begins in the barren countryside of Wyoming in the 1960s. Two young cowboys happen to be at the right place at the right time. Through one summer working as sheep herders up in the mountains, the landscape in all its loneliness and beauty bring these seemingly rough and buff men together, in love. At first, just silent glances stolen at one another when the other is not looking...then, perhaps because of the cold, or because of the deep underlying attractions already brewing from the beginning, a passionate (explicit perhaps) love scene unites their hearts and fates forever. On the rugid backs of Brokeback, love sows its seeds.
But it is a love that 'dares not speak its name'. For in an age, in a culture, and in a place where beer-guzzling and chimney-smoking cowboys meet the musts of marriage, family, children and seeing life through from day to day, such homosexual love, however intense, passionate and heart-felt, has no air to breath. So they both 'settle down' and make do, but struggle to keep up appearances within the confines of their social obligations. Only during occassional meetings in the shadows of Brokeback do they dare express passions and feelings so strong yet so suppressed. Love, in all its purity, and ups and downs brings these two men together, but also sets them apart.
The movie really captures that human side, and sends a powerful message that love ignores insignificant issues whether you are gay, a cowboy or under great social pressures. Sort of reminded me of 'The Wedding Banquet' 喜宴(1994), which has a similar theme running through it. Even in a sleepy forgotten land, a rich and emotional story of two people can develop and endure. The soft country classics and lyrics, together with moving guitar and harmonica themes add that special touch to the movie. More than once I was moved to tears (and it's been a while since a movie had this effect on me)...the love scene, the partings, the hugs, the goodbyes and unbearable longings. Simply brilliantly directed, acted and choreographed.
Oh, how wonderful it is to be in love...
For those who are not, this movie will remind you of that feeling.
Go experience for yourself! : )