Brokeback Mountain, 2005

Can anyone believe it had been five years since this movie; or that sadly, it had been two years since the world was deprived of one of its most talented actors?

Usually I talk music here; it had been what my life had been lyingly built on (though I am not any good musician – just ask me to play any instrument and hell breaks loose; and have plentiful of flaws meself). But on several occasions, I like to steer away from it at times. But this will and won’t be.

This just in: I went fishing out for the movie tickets – my sister (whom I had asked to go along with, and for more than just a cinema-going companion, for she was of a legal age to purchase and watch while I was, at that time, underaged at 20). Cathay Cineleisure it was at, on a particular Thursday, 16th February 2006, at 1900 hours, Level 6 Hall 5, priced at SGD8.00 per ticket and well seated at D17 & D18 – the reason why I am typing this out in full is that with memories, such prints had begun to fade away as well, and I had started to notice it, along with the other movie tickets for the times I used to go on and enjoy (Spiderman, etc); and before it all fades away eventually, I will like to think that I had taken the opportunity to jot it down someplace else, and this entry it is.

In a way, I recalled I was thrilled to be sneaking past authorities in catching such a movie about somewhat forbidden love (I swear, I don’t do much crimes; when my friends did shoplifting in secondary school, I just watched. Hell, I even watched when they played Pokemon cards, which I knew was goddamn childish then). I also remembered that though it was a largely popular gay flick, the other people in the audience were generally straight couples, with a thirst for the art or the moviegoing experience, which I do know that most Singaporeans are good at. After watching, I even mentioned to and recommended H to watch, in which she did and she enjoyed – I like a friend with a common interest, a quest for something good, great.

I will confess that this weekend, I had been doing basically nothing but watching and re-watching the movie, which I have safely placed in my portable drive, along with the catalogue of music files that I have (I will back it up with a ripoff on the DVD too, just in case anything helps – like a condom). And I must deeply confess, I still love this movie, and in actual fact, nothing I watched thereafter this flick is even this close replaceable to it – and thus, there went my moviegoing experience.

Being Asian, I am biased – I love the fact that Ang Lee was a huge part in this, and his directorial was stunning with the nature sceneries captured, as well as the lazy, quiet state of old towns to be. In some ways, he is this perfectionist that goes around and gets what he wants done, and I respect him for that. No one-thousand Jack Neos can do that – face it – not even with the alleged affairs.

The topic is controversy in the uptight Singapore media’s point of view, so I will skip that, or I will just sound like a loose gay rat or something that’s overly excited and chirpy; but I like that the feelings were generally, nicely expressed by the actors and actresses hired. And speaking of which, it seems to me that they had casted the most natural, realistic group of people to be on it. I was taken aback by how different some of them were from their usual roles.

With all respect first, the late Heath was stunning and gorgeous – a silent charmer, he conveyed the role well (clearly doing his homework as an actor), like he had got himself sucked in by the movie script’s character and was actually living the life of Ennis Del Mar. He was getting the approvals of everyone – I can’t imagine anyone not liking him – and his subsequent role as The Joker in the new Batman series was another compelling role, truthfully disturbing and evil-thirsty. World, it is a great loss – I hope you know that, I hope you remember it like sometimes how I remember it to be. I like the fact that he was this quiet actor onscreen, yet he was the one that captured most of our hearts. He made sure you feel the pain, and it hurts to say but it sure did and still does.

Another major shocker for me was Anne Hathaway, who was playing in most sweet-teen flicks of princessy titles then. When she spoke in her country slang, I was slightly moved. Who was this lady/woman (I am seeing her for the first time as that instead of a young girl in Hollywood) that was displayed in front of us? What had Ang Lee done to this group of already fine actors and actresses to make them so different, strangely wonderful that it seemed almost out of this world to be? Then the scene where she was top naked was a ‘wow’ factor for me – not in a man horny kinda way, but rather I was captivated by what she was doing and the route that she was taking. Like the role of Jack Twist said, “Fast or slow, I just like the direction you’re going” (though it had two separate meanings altogether). When she smoked, it was like the final straw – if she was there physically, I could prepare a Bvlgari ring and propose to her straightaway.

Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be the forgotten one, but he had an impactful move as well, just that it was outshadowed by Heath’s performance. I could feel his passion, his desire in wanting a relationship to come true, yet, completely torn apart by the simple fact that it couldn’t – in some ways, blaming it all on reality. His character had no wish to stray, but got involved in many affairs that filled up his mind from the sad truth of it all, the loneliness that a love could bring upon.

Michelle Williams, though sharing the same name as a Destiny’s Child-er whom, in mainstream point of view, is forgettable compared to a certain Mrs. Z, was beautifully bruised by the fact that her character’s husband had something going on with another man, that she couldn’t bring herself to the reality of it all, and her endless suffering, even so after the divorce, was heart-wrenching, but one just couldn’t blame her character for being so. When she first witnessed it, the sudden shock was brought upon her. Thereafter, painful sadness, hardship acceptance and to leave. All-in-all, the leading women all made nude sacrifices for the movie, and if it isn’t mischevious sounding to say so, if it was for a piece of art, it is all worth it.

Even Randy Quaid (Joe Aguirre), Anna Faris – who was in a string of mainstream forgettable roles (Scary Movie), played a talkative, believable wife of a cowboy; Kate Mara, the daughter of Ennis, reminded me of Alanis Morissette and the important lesson of not being like Ryan Reynolds; Roberta Maxwell, whom I have a secret crush on, like all other elderly women, such as the cleaning aunties in Singapore, who are more humane than most of the women of my generation (I secretly use her old young picture as a Facebook profile picture, I think it is still there). But here’s another worthy mention – Linda Cardellini. She was in the Scooby Doo movies as Velma, and in this movie, she played Cassie Cartwright, a waitress out looking for love and unfortunately stumbling in love over Ennis. Truly different, truly magnificent.

(psssst. by the way, I think Coca Cola is a large sponsor of the movie. I saw it appear more than this once captured here.)

It was like being taken on a breathtaking trip, seated on the passenger’s side.

And if one is thinking what the fuck has it got to do with music, it all has. On a regular basis, I never like country music. But on this occasion – one may call it a biased incident – I like the playlist of Emmylou Harris, Rufus Wainwright, Willie Nelson, Teddy Thompson and the instrumental pieces from Gustavo Santaolalla on the soundtrack, with some – especially the ones from Gustavo, being splashed throughout the flick, against the backdrop of the mountain and the forests.

It is like picking the most suitable songs for the mood of the movie, for the mood of the country ride, for the mood of old school American love.

And I am sure glad MSN has mentioned on a recent feature that Ennis/Jack had made it as one of Hollywood’s current screen couples – just wondering a little bit on why Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson weren’t mentioned.

The DVD release is, of course, not available in Singapore.

May watch again tonight, or any other night.

And to Heath, peace.

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