Don't go broke just to see Brokeback Mountain.
After just returning home from seeing "Brokeback", I wanted to make a few notations about Movie Vs. Book. I am not so sure that Annie Proulx meant for her 58 page story to end up like this. Although there are some nuances which make this a believeable story, the movie definitely feels as more an art film rather than anything groundbreaking. I felt more compelled to 'think' after I viewed "The Matrix" or "8MM" in the theater. A patchy handi-cam seems to capture the opening "Mountainscape" which has a very sparse, almost annoying guitar 'twang'.
Cut to opening scene.... A truck rolls up, and the highly predictable gay tension begins (mind you, it's only 30 seconds into the movie). A seeming buildup toward the tension begins (as about 60% of this movie seems to be built on predictability and stereotyping). There are almost laughable scenes which must have been filmed in sequence (for a few reasons I will mention shortly). There is the cheapened and mainstream ideals of 'what it must be like to be gay' sorts of movements. Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) has performed a great job of putting Proulx's words in motion, showing his anger (on occasion over-emphasizing it). There was mild character development, in which (had you not read the book) you would never know that Jack Twist's (Gyllenhaal) parents knew all along about.... well, see the movie.
Overall, sequencing of the movie HAD to have been either 'in order' or close to it. If this was not the case then they had hired the credited directors (Ossana & McMurtry) half way through the shooting, because the last 30 minutes have a very 'finished' feel. That along with MUCH more improved plotting and execution was quite noticeable. Continuity in the long run seemed good, except for early on, when Ledger mysteriously had not even a scar after falling off his horse and badly marring the side of his face. Kudos to the director in the last 40 minutes for making the last chapters more believeable. Kudos to Kudos to Ledger for making his character believeable. Kudos to BOTH Ledger and Gyllenhaal for "bearing all".
I may buy this DVD when it's released if there is enough commentary and 'deleted scenes' and/or bloopers added to the final product, as I am sure there must have been bounties of. I left feeling slightly disappointed, because this movie did not make the potential it could have achieved. It left me feeling as though it was a bit hurried for production, and above all, did not leave me with much of a feeling of impact as was possible. The gay-bashing scenes could have made more of a statement (as they were by Proulx's account). Unfortunately, this movie could have been a big hitter for the year, but unfortunately, the corners that were cut (unfairly to the actors) will make you feel a little more like flopping, than flipping.
If for anything, see the movie for the beautiful forest scenes, as they definitely are magnificent (Nature scenes, I'm speaking of course!). :)