Monday, December 26, 2005

Brokeback Mountain

So, I went to see Brokeback Mountain with my boyfriend and two of our friends on opening night here. The movie was (is still, I think) only playing at one theater in town, but by the time we got in line for our 7pm show, they had already sold out every showing for the rest of the night.

The crowd was what you might expect from people waiting to see a highly anticipated movie on opening night--big, loud, and excited, but different in that most of them were gay (I'd say over 95% if I had to guess).

Big crowds and big anticipation are normally good things for me, but it didn't really work so hot for this movie. The crowd really reminded me of a bunch of 3rd graders. They hooted and hollared at the first gay kiss scene, they screamed things at the screen, and no less than 10 people must have dropped their drinks during the movie. It got to the point that my boyfriend was considering leaving and coming back another time.

As for the movie, let me say that I typically do have a soft spot for gay-themed movies. I like connecting with characters that have gone through and are going through what I am, and let's face it--they don't come around all that often.

The movie was good. It was sad, emotional, fairly compelling. But, for some reason I didn't really feel it was all that great. It didn't live up to the hype for me. Maybe it was the crowd, but I had trouble being drawn in. And, as many others have noted, I spent a good deal of the time feeling sorry for both the gay guys (or were they bi?) and their wives/families. So, it was hard to want something to go one way, when I knew either way was going to hurt someone.

Ok, so that is my take on the movie. I think it is definitely worth seeing, but I'd shy away from calling it the best movie I've ever seen.

I may write more about the religious right backlash of the movie to try to put it into context for me, but not right now.

6 Comments:

At 26/12/05 4:43 PM, Blogger grace said...

You know Brady....I still haven't felt at all like I should see this movie..you know the reasons.

From what I understand the message is supposed to be about the time frame (60's?? right?) and how our culture was so hostile towards "coming out" back then. This is all information I've gleaned from reading about it.

But...if you are not looking at it through that lense (which I would not be able to do) then you might be seeing more as I would...as a sort of tragedy of relationships with no clear resolution in regards to the relationship aspect.

I think this is one of the reasons people like you and I are able to be friends. We are able to empathize with one another at some level...disagree about some specifics...all the while maintaining geniune concern for one another as individuals.

This is off-topic in a way. But just struck me.

Can't wait to hear the rest of what you have to say about it.

grace

 
At 26/12/05 6:02 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Hi Grace,

I think you are right about that. People can disagree, but even in disagreement there is usually some sort of agreement in another area. And, if not that, at least an understanding of where the other person is coming from. So, good point!

Yeah, part of the movie is certainly about the tragedy of being gay (and forcely closeted in the 1960's). Part of it is the tragedy of the families of the guys. And, part of it is a Romeo and Juliet style love story. It's certainly not a movie for everyone, but also not one that should be summarily dismissed just because it is a gay movie.

In other words, if someone doesn't want to see it because of gay themes or other issues, great. But, it's unfair to criticize it's making or (possible) award success and good reviews just because of its gay message.

 
At 26/12/05 7:15 PM, Blogger grace said...

Right! It's not the "gay theme" that makes me not be able to see it. It's the tragedy of those relationships that involve deceit and then hurt for all involved. The gay part of it is just incidental in this case. Does that make sense?

 
At 26/12/05 8:02 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Makes sense. Although, if it were the gay theme, I'm not sure that in and of itself is bad. It's when someone won't admit that there might be some artistic merit to the movie just because it is gay themed.

 
At 28/12/05 10:32 AM, Anonymous Jay said...

Man, how I love Brokeback Mountain! I can't get enough of it. I listen to the soundtrack all the time! On of the reasons it touched me so much is the rural setting. I thought I'd left all that behind me...the trailers, the corrugated tin, wranglers and stetsons...Oh god!...the pastures and long fences that go on forever! Sigh... I thought I'd left all that behind me when I left Oklahoma for Chicago, but wow...

To see love in that setting...a kind of love story that I don't often get to see... a setting that feels like home...it hit me hard! I was surprised at the slow pace of the movie, and thought for awhile, "I guess this movie's Okay, but not as amazing as I'd hoped." But when Ang Lee unloosed the passion, with that skill so unique to him, I was sold. Like that moment in Crouching Tiger when a single touch of a hand opens the floodgates. :-)

I'm glad I did not see the movie in the theater near boystown. I've heard from others that the audience was full of "bitchy queens" (God love 'em...they're all his children) who laughed at the moment of Alma's pain. How sad... My audience was more mature and the experience was deeply touching.

I'm flying home Thursday to the farm. :-)

"I'm comin' home mom."

 
At 28/12/05 11:27 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Thanks, Jay. Glad to hear you liked it so much. I agree with your take on the slower beginning and the passionate turn the movie takes. My boyfriend is interested in re-watching the movie without the rowdy crowd. I might join him, but I don't see movies much, so I may not.

 

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