Thursday, March 09, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

I saw Brokeback Mountain last night and was pleasantly surprised. After all the pre-Oscar hype, I expected this film to be more political than it was. It turns out to be a classic story of forbidden love and betrayal (of one another as well as their wives). Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger were great, as were the actresses playing their characters' wives and daughters (including Brooklyn Proulx, daughter of Annie Proulx, who wrote the short story upon which the film was based).

Ennis (Ledger) and Jack (Gyllenhaal) loved one another genuinely, but dealt dishonestly with their wives, going on "fishing" trips every several months to rendezvous together in the Wyoming wilderness. These betrayals ultimately had karmic echoes for these two men, who felt compelled by societal pressures to build their lives upon a fiction of heterosexuality. The film certainly illustrates the idea that the wrongs you commit against others (in this case, adultery - clearly a form of sexual misconduct verboten by the Five Precepts) will come back to haunt you later.

I recommend this film to you all. Please go in with an open mind, and disregard all of the press and hype. Brokeback Mountain isn't a politically-charged polemic on homosexual rights. It's a love story. The love in this case happens to be between two men.

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