What do we have to fear from this film? Is it irrational or unworthy or corrupt? Does it attack and tear down or does it exalt the human spirit and mark out, for once and for as long as our popular entertainments continue to capture the imagination of the masses, a space for men who love — sometimes despite hardship, wives, children and duty — other men?
Perhaps more interesting is the fact that by portraying ranch hands rather than Mardi Gras-ready homo-activists, Proulx via Lee has presented perhaps the first real gay characters in a zone too often crowded with walking stereotypes. Ennis Del Mar couldn’t tzuz to save his life, and no wonder, as Michael Kirby is fond of saying: homosexuals are as boring as everyone else.
Who, after all, could reasonably object to this film? Certainly not the good, hard men of the midwest, who’d be the first to reject any prissification of their livelihoods; they’ve already given it their seal of approval. Not even serious Christian reviewers see it as a threat. They’d be on the lookout too, for unworthy storylines and the anti-Christian heavy-handedness that often characterises modern films. No, the only people who need regret Brokeback Mountain are the dry of heart, the irredeemably bitter and those who see love and know only fear.
Even so, I defy them to watch this film and come away unmoved. For anyone who has seen it cannot let it rest. Brokeback stays with you and it will stay with our culture, long after any silly objections have fallen back into obscurity.
While we differ on the content of the film, I do agree with John’s conclusions: I also defy anyone to watch the movie and come away unmoved. It was a moving piece. I just didn’t think it was the masterpiece that it is being hailed as. But hey, my favorite movie of all time starred a DeLorean.