Neither a cowboy picture nor an engaged gay movie, Ang Lee’s 2005 Brokeback Mountain, with its honest depiction of a poignant love story between two lonely men, is primarily a tragedy of denied happiness, but ultimately a subtle study of repression and quiet desperation.
At the end of Brokeback Mountain, when Ennis Del Mar, standing in front of Jack Twist’s shirt and a picture of the mountains of Wyoming, cries for his paradise lost, we feel for him. For if you are not affected by their story and the poignancy of their denied happiness and forbidden love, then you have no heart. The image of Del Mar’s face, wet by tears of regret and existential desperation, should reflect a sadness so universal that the details of the tale (the homosexual aspect of their relationship, American intolerance in the 1960s, and even Twist’s death at the end of the film) become irrelevant. This is melodrama of the highest order. Continue reading