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“Brokeback Mountain” by Ang Lee

There is a famous American western that revolutionized modern cinematography by rising important issues of gender and sexuality. The name of the movie is the Brokeback Mountain and by making sociological problems described in the movie so open for public, Ang Lee put them on the top of the most important issues that exist today. These issues make spectators think about many problems such as love, friendship, social prejudices, role of sexual orientation in society and its impact on modern world- outlook.

Homosexuality has always existed in all cultures. The evidence and reflection of this fact can be found in literature, history and arts. However, people’s attitude to it changed with time. Although now sexual minorities are accepted by society in many countries, in times when the main heroes of the Brokeback Mountain lived, they were not allowed to express their sexual orientation and moreover, to show it on public.

Both main heroes, Ennis and Jack, find friends in each other before they fall in love. The last is not the consequence of passion or lust, but the consequence of real friendship. When men meet each other for the first time they realize how great they feel being together. Despite the fact that Jack was going to marry Alma, he finds that it is very pleasurable for him to communicate with Ennis not like with a friend. There is something more between them that makes Jack’s heart beat faster. Similarly to Jack, Ennis also comes to realization that “he’d never had such a good time”. Both men are not afraid to tell each other about their dreams and troubles and consequently, fall in love.

The homosexuality and real love between two men is the pivotal issue of the whole movie. It is clearly stated in the movie, that time is able to change social morality and as Brokeback Mountain takes place in 60th, both main heroes are afraid to be judged by others and they hide their relationship and feelings from the whole world. Moreover, despite the fact that their relationship exceeds boundaries of heterosexuality, Ennis and Jack do not think that their sexual orientation is homosexuality.

After they spend their first night together, Ennis says to Jack: “You know I ain’t queer” and gets Jack’s answer: “Me neither. A one-shot thing. Nobody’s business but ours” (Lee, Ang. _ Brokeback Mountain_). In my opinion, the fact that main heroes deny their real sexual orientation proves that they were both afraid of being misunderstood and not accepted by society. Moreover, they both marry woman and pretend to live happy with them.

Love is another sociological issue raised in the movie. Considering the fact that both main heroes did not find peace in their heterosexual relationship and were trying to meet all the time during the movie, it becomes clear Ennis and Jack loved each other during all their lives. The last scene, when Ennis fastens buttons on Jack’s t- shirt and drops tears shows how sad he is to lose his real love. Although they were never really together, they always tried to rind the reason to meet and it was more than just a primitive instinct or a sexual chemistry. In my opinion, it was a real love, love that exceeded boundaries of heterosexual society and usual prejudices. It shows spectator how important it is to have a freedom of choice nowadays and how this freedom can make people happy.

Both Jack and Ennis try to fallow rules of convention by marrying their wives. However, even Alma is not an obstacle for men to express their feelings and to kiss in front of her. Both men are so carried away by each other that they spend a night in a motel room. Moreover, they lie to Ennis’ wife that they are going to be out having drinks. This cheating was noticed by Alma who suffered from her husband’s sexual orientation and told him once, when she was not able to live with this fact any more:

You know, I used to wonder how come you never brought any trouts home. You always said you caught plenty, and you know how me and the girls like fish. So one night I got your creel case open the night before you went on one of your little trips — price tag’s still on it after five years — and I tied a note to the end of the line. It said, ‘Hello, Ennis, bring some fish home. Love. Alma.’ And then you come back looking all perky and said you caught a bunch of browners and you ate them up. Do you remember? I looked in that case first chance I got, and there was my note still tied there. That rod hadn’t touched water in its life (Lee, Ang. _ Brokeback Mountain_).

In my opinion, the fact that some people did not have the freedom of sexual orientation choice can make other people around them unhappy as well. Ennis’ wife Alma and Jack’s wife Lureen are good examples of this. Both women spend their lives with men who did not even loved them and married just because of social prejudices.

The homophobia is another important issue raised in the movie. The heterosexual society in the USA was very strict about any demonstration of homosexual relationship. Therefore, Ennis suffered from this phobia, and, in my opinion, it came from his childhood. There is a scene in the movie when he tells Jack about an accident with a homosexual guy, who was killed with tire iron and then was showed to everyone as an example of a wrong behavior.

Moreover, Ennis’ father tried to frighten him that if Ennis would ever have any relationship with man, flat iron will also become his destiny. These prejudices prevent Ennis from seeing Jack and from being able to live according to his homosexual needs. Even his divorce with Alma did not help him to realize that his feelings to Jack should overcome social prejudices about straight love.

Brokeback Mountain is a movie that raised important issues in a way they were never presented in the movie industry before. Ang Lee showed the history of relationship between two men as a story of real love. Unfortunately, Jack and Ennis did not find a way to be together, but it is clear for everyone that their love, which does not now measures and boundaries is going to be alive forever. In this story, everything revolves around real feelings and inability of main heroes to express those feelings. Social prejudices are shown as very important reasons that prevent people from finding their happiness and sexual identity.

Works Cited

Lee, Ang. _ Brokeback Mountain_. Paramount Pictures, 2005.


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