I don’t know whether or not you have noticed this news. When President Bush was defending his domestic spying program, a person from the audience gave him a difficult time about his ranching and movie experience. Bush had to take this question after his speech. A questioner asked him, “You’re a rancher. A lot of us here in Kansas are ranchers. I just wanted to get your opinion on Brokeback Mountain, and if you had seen it yet... You would love it. You should check it out”. Poor Bush said, “I hadn’t seen it. I would be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven’t seen the movie... I’ve heard about it... I hope you go.. you know.. heh, heh.. I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I was going to say... I hadn’t seen it.” This is probably the first time President Bush could not enjoy talking about his ranching. His religion and values may have made him feel this movie, Brokeback Mountain, would be a potential danger. Some people think this movie is a milestone for gay rights and others may think this is a love story as the movie was marketed. However, for me, this is a movie showing the result when a story, director, players, music, and screenplay work together perfectly in order to make an audience think about life and hopefully help people to endure their lifes.
We may feel sometimes life is a drama, but we can hardly find a movie which makes us feel that drama is like real life. People living in that movie and story are so bona fide (in good faith). Two gays, Ennis and Jack, met each other at the Brokeback Mountain. We may still remember how we felt when we first found a person who could understand us and make us forget how poor and lonely we were in our life. However, there were too many difficulties in keeping that person. We couldn’t fix reality so we would have to endure it.
Standing to lose that person, or having an unsatisfying relationship, could there be an alternative? In this movie, Ennis told Jack, “If you can’t fix it, you gotta stand it” and “what you can’t change, you’ve just got to ride out.” However, Ennis was distracted by Jack and couldn’t take care of his family when he could have done better. There is a heart-breaking scene when his wife, Alma holding their children, is crying silently. I also believe that this actress will win an award for the scene when she fought with her husband. She was not the only one who was abused. Ennis couldn’t see his daughters that often after his divorce. Even though Ennis paid this price, he and the person he loved still couldn’t have what they wanted. Jack was in pain. He complained, “What we got here is an unsatisfying situation…The truth is... sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it.” Jack slept with another man in Mexico for needing something and hit on other men. Jack said, “I can’t make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year! You are too much for me…I wish I knew how to quit you. We all have to deal with our affection in an unsatisfied relationship.” This feeling and excuse may be familiar to us. Should they fix it? If they can’t, is there a way to stand it?
The director, Ang Lee, said, “Everyone has his/her Brokeback Mountain in his/her mind.” He claimed, “This is a story about what would have been if we could have done…” When he visited Taiwan, a member of the audience asked him, “Who is that person in your Brokeback Mountain?” He answered, “I really couldn’t think about anyone, but if I had someone in mind, I am sure it would not be my wife.” The audience laughed. Is it funny because we all know that the person in our Brokeback Mountain would not be the one who is finally with us? If life is like a drama, it is like a tragedy rather than a comedy because we are meant to be in an unsatisfied situation. If we can’t fix it, how can we stand it? This movie helps me find an answer—cherishing what I have and balancing what I want. Jack’s wife, who is more interested in business than him, was tearful when she talked with Ennis on phone even though her voice was “as cold as snow”. How many people feel they don’t love their partners in their relationship and eventually find out that that person is more important than they think? This in another heart-breaking moment for me. If we must stand this unsatisfying life, can we fix it to make it less painful?
For Ennis and Jack, being gay and happy ever after is impossible. However, they could have been happy with their family if Jack prized his “cute old Texas girl” and “boy who smiles a lot”, and Ennis remembered to bring a fish for Alma and his girls from Brokeback Mountain. At this point, they could have made it on “a coupla high-altitude” meetings once or twice a year and have a period of time to love each other. If we can’t fix it, why not standing it better?
Some people say that there’s no better teacher about life than experience. However, learning from experience brings too much pain and damage for ourselves or people around us. Sometimes, it is even too late. I am happy that I only have to spend two hours and fourteen minutes to learn from someone’s life and I don’t need to be a gay. President Bush has not seen this movie yet, but I hope he will because we all need to taste life. Hopefully, we can fix it. If not, we can stand it, perhaps unsatisfied but occasionally blissful.