I did not know what to expect when going into watch Brokeback Mountain (2005), directed by Ang Lee. I know it was really hyped up because of the controversy over its theme, but it is an amazingly sweet and gripping movie.
It is a love story but a very different kind of love story. Not only are the characters homosexual, but also it is set in the nineteen sixties and seventies when society as a whole was not as open-minded as more of it is today. The storyline basically is about a rancher and a rodeo rider who fall in love when they are working together on Brokeback Mountain one summer. After the summer is over and their job is done, they leave each other and try to go on with their lives. Both end up married with children but are still in love with each other and secretly meet every so often in the mountains, where they are truly happy.
Although it was very sweet, it was also sad. When I am watching it, I feel bad for everyone involved. I feel bad for the men because they love each other but cannot do anything about it due to the stigmas of society then. I feel bad for the women because they are dragged into marriages that are basically a lie. I feel bad for the children who have to live in these rocky marriages. Due to all these conflicts, the movie is just very interesting. I do not want to get too into the details because one should feel the full complex theatrical experience while watching it.
I am of the opinion that people should be able to love whomever they want to. Luckily for me, being only attracted to males, I can fall in love and go on dates and get married and have children and never worry about what others think or say about me at last along this line. I should like to think that our society has come a long way in that more and more people have started not to worry about what others think or say about their gender preferences and orientation. However, I have the feeling that we still have a long way to go and that we need to try harder to accept others and their ways of life, though they may be different from our own.
I really think movies like Brokeback Mountain, which capture the emotion behind important themes that are becoming more relevant in our lives, have the power to move us to change for the better.