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Introduction To The Movie Brokeback Mountain Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 1069 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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“Brokeback Mountain” is a particularly extraordinary film. “Brokeback Mountain” is one of the most touching love stories in decades; it gradually casts its spell, moving forward at a relaxed tempo and soothingly works its way into your heart. A number of movies take their time revealing the story out and occupying the audience. “Brokeback Mountain” is one of those films.

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The story that unfolds is reasonably straightforward and simple. It’s the summer of 1963 and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meets Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) when they’re both given jobs guarding sheep up on Brokeback Mountain. Jack is portrayed as friendly and open; a very friendly person – a real talker who loves to play the harmonica. On the other hand, Ennis is basically a shy person, who closely safeguards his feelings and avoids openly up to strangers or simply, everyone.

All alone up on the mountain (with just horses and sheep for company) the good-looking young men open themselves to each other, emotionally. One night, as a result of a lot of drinking, Jack encourages Ennis into his tent to get warm. In an artfully and cleverly staged scene, Jack positions Ennis’ arm over his body which makes Ennis pull away. But soon, their deep desires and love for each other shoots up into a life-changing sexual encounter. A 20-year relationship blossoms from that one night of shared passion. Though both the men got married, and had children, yet never once did they stop loving each other. Because their love would never have been understood or accepted by the society in that time and in that place, they could not openly show how they felt for each other and had to keep it locked inside of them with the exception of a few times each year, when they broke away from their normal lives and took some time out for themselves on Brokeback Mountain.

The proposed argument states that holding up or suppressing one’s sexual emotions can be spiritually and physically dangerous, frequently having an injurious, chain effect. This thesis statement is supported by many depictions within the movie. It is basically a desperately sad story in a lot of ways, a story of two wasted lives, but a moving and beautiful story, too. Once forced to hold back his true emotions, Jake becomes a sellout, working for his hateful and loathsome father-in-law, selling farm machinery. Ennis, on the other hand, turns into a quiet and grumpy old cowpoke – their true selves become more sadly unapproachable with each passing day of their lives.

More than this, Brokeback Mountain is in fact a story of how, for the most part, our lives, gay and straight, are characterized by one split second in which things go naturally and gloriously right, when the whole thing falls into place; but afterwards it is felt plain wrong. Jack and Ennis, flawed as they are, undertake the most excellent endeavors to refuse their deep embedded desires and they fight not just against racism, but the dullness of their society as well. (Piontek, 2012).

“Brokeback Mountain” is at the end of the day not about sex (there is very little of it in the film) but about love: love dissatisfied, love accidently fallen into and love held sorrowfully in the heart.

Another instance to support the main idea comes in the shape of a scene added in the original script, in which Ennis, in front of his freaked-out family, punches two hikers at a Fourth of July picnic. The shot of the, enraged and deeply unhappy cowboy lifting his fist against a sky decorated with fireworks is one of the more initial moments. The director, Lee, restates a well-known, though compelling charge against the foundations of American nationalism, that is to say that at least some of its aggressive and violent action is rooted in repressed homosexuality (Pinto, 2007).

In order to understand the main thesis idea adopted in this essay, historians must put together a reflection and consideration of the emotional urges in order to progress beyond representation to understand the realities of historical actors. In political terms, “Brokeback” was a revolutionary event, in order to understand the connections between homosexuality, homo-sociality, and homophobia.

The importance of emotional urges and the resulting hold-up of ‘unacceptable’ emotions are highlighted in the following situation:

“What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger.”

Such feelings are undoubtedly significant and important for an individual. A person who is deprived of such a blissful feeling and connection is sure to turn sour, bitter and unhappy (Grundmann, 2006). Moreover, Ennis, who constantly fought against his emotions and tried hard to hold them under the assumed fatherly responsibilities, eventually did feel the loss of what was unsaid and undone between him and Jack.

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In a scene replicated in the movie, Ennis hid his face and breathed in little by little through his nose and mouth, looking forward to the faded fog of mountain and salty sweet stench of Jack but there was no genuine scent; only the memory of it – the envisioned supremacy of Brokeback Mountain of which not anything was left but what he held in his hands. At last Ennis found himself competent of some measure of imagination -too late (Snider, 2008). This truly represented that sexual freedom is a human right; whose suppression led to spiritual and physical drunkenness.

This movie, Brokeback Mountain, is nonetheless a classic and a thought-provoking movie. Labeled as a love story, it does not only target a specific audience; rather it extends its gentleness, its tenderness, emotional attachment and the sorrow of lost love to all. Though homosexuality might not be acceptable to all, it nevertheless exists as a firm reality amongst living people with real, sincere emotions and feelings. The movie is a classic example of individuality and human right – humans are free to love whomever they desire. Inability to do so might have injurious ripple effect and could lead to devastated, unhappy lives of many.


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