Saturday, 5 August 2006

DVD: Brokeback Mountain

Tag: Romeo & Romeo (not that there's anything wrong with it)
I don't think there's a person out there who hadn't heard about this film, but still allow me to briefly go over the plot for the simple reason that while I've heard a lot about the film I never knew much about its plot.
The film tells the story of two cowboys who go together to illegally guard this herd of sheep up in what looks like a freezing place called Brokeback Mountain. It's very boring up there and very cold, and eventually circumstances cause them to share a tent, and quickly enough they're all over one another. And they like it.
That's roughly the first movement of the film. The next one tells us about how these two guys cope with their newly found innerselves realities in the face of a society that has its preconceptions and in the face of married life. The third and final movement gives the stroy a suitable ending.
At the base of things this film is yet another story of an impossible love, much like Romeo & Juliet; the new element here is that it's a gay love affair, and not your average gay love affair but a tough cowboy gay love affair. To me, since I couldn't care less about gay people (in the sense of that as far as I am concerned they can do whatever they want to do and I wish them all the best), this story does not represent something I can identify with. That said, the story is exteremely well told; this is not your average Hollywood cheap love affair to get money in the box office story, this is a true work of art.
Something I could relate to and something that made me think a lot about the film is the way society is mirrored. Society is the true hero of this film: the way the people around the lovers behave is the most interesting thing, since those people are us - there is nothing to differentiate between us and them. And what do we see? We see ignorance all over, we see lack of acceptance for other people just because something in them that does not concern us any more than, say, their preference for meat over poultry. We see lots of bad things that don't apply only to gay people's acceptance, but to everything that has anything to do with people being different from one another. And that is why the film is so good.
Best scene: I liked the love scene between the rodeo gay cowboy and his rodeo woman lover. It was a piece of good acting, with the gay hero slightly hesitating before satisfying what everyone expects of him and stornming the anxiously awaiting woman.
Picture quality: Depsite an abundance of lovely scenery, picture quality is far from spectacular with lots of noise to mar the experience.
Sound quality: Dialog is a pain and I had to use subtitles to manage the film; but that's mostly because of Heath Ledger's habbit of murmuring to himself instead of talking. Other than that, sound is quite unimpressive and the stage is fixed to the center channel. The main exception is when the usually annoying score decides to make a name for itself (usually at the most unlikely time) and burst into the surround channels, in which the sound becomes quite glorious.
Overall: 4 stars.

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