My Rare One and I watched Brokeback Mountain again the other night on TV. It was kind of frustrating because the CBC broke up the movie's flow with a gazillion commercials, bleeped out most of the swear words and cut the two most graphic sex scenes. But even so, they could not diminish the film's tragic story nor blunt its emotional impact. More than a week later, Jack and Ennis are still on my mind.
The first time I saw the movie, the lingering image that I could not shake was the final shot of their two shirts on the wire hanger in the closet. This time the story's tragedy was epitomized for me in a single line of dialogue.
Throughout the movie, Jack is presented as the dreamer, the unrealistic one. At one point he says to Ennis "What if you and me had a little ranch together, little cow and calf operation, it'd be some sweet life." What a modest dream this is. Such a small dream really, not grandiose at all. But utterly unattainable for a gay couple in his time, culture and circumstances. That is the poignant tragedy of Jack's simple dream. He might as well have wanted the moon. He couldn't have that either.