8 out of 10
An Unusual Romance Story
Traditionally, cowboys are often seen riding the range and roping cattle. They are tough he-men who rescue the local maiden in distress. The role of cowboy changed as time marched on with no wild west to travel across. They worked on cattle ranches or left farming altogether. But beneath the ten gallon hats and leather boots, it wasn't just their job that was changing.
While working sheep herding in the 1960's, two men met. Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) was a tough as nails son of a rancher who was trying to earn money for family home. Jack Twist (Jake Gylenhaal) is a man who has been working towards becoming self-sufficient. These two men became good friends and one fateful expressed their forbidden love for each other. For decades after they part ways, the pair meet to explore their feelings for one another.
Brokeback Mountain is one of the most memorable films in the recent history. Ang Lee's direction is not only artistic but also brings out the emotional punch needed to make the story work. Ledger's and Gylenhaal's performances as the homosexual cowboys are both touching and show development as the movie progresses. Lee's ability to balance the difficult subject matter without alienating his audience is outstanding. But all these things come at the price of length. This film has many moments where it seems to drag on especially near the end. As much as these men struggle with their personal demons to come to grips with their feelings, it feels drawn out for no particular reason.
Unusual romance stories don't come by often and nery's nice! and when they do, they aren't treated well. With its unique story and strong visuals this movie is worth watching.
Cowboys aren't always what they seem
Film Critic: Steven Scopa