Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Broke Down and Saw Brokeback

I went with my daughter to see Brokeback Mountain.

Yes, that film.

You know what? I liked it. I'm serious. I thought it was good.

The acting was absolutely first rate. Cinematophraphy was out of this world. The story was compelling and believable. I can see why it's nominated for Best Movie, not just because it's controversial, but because it's good.

I found the movie not so much to be a "gay" movie. In fact, once past the initial minor shock of seeing two men engaged (not all that explicitly, by the way - not in comparison with hetero-sexual scenes in movies of similar ratings) in a sex scene, the movie became a love story. Honest.

A tortured love story, to be sure, but a love story nonetheless.

What jumped out at me as the main theme of the story was the anguish these two men went through because they were unable, either by the very real pressures of society or their own expectations on themselves, to be honest and open about who they were and their love for each other. Their ability to be open was hampered by the fact that people were killed in their part of the country for being homosexual in those days. Also, they were cowboys - ranch hands - and true men, as cowboys were raised and expected to be, were not queer. Ever. As a result, they led faded, false, double lives, taking wives and having children, all the while having clandestine meetings disguised as camping or fishing trips a few times a year.

Naturally, the pressures of keeping up a false life tear each of them down, along with their families. In the final analysis, neither of them get anything they really want, everyone gets hurt, and, after one of them is brutally murdered for being homosexual, the other is left alone - a lonely old man having cut himself off from his children and family.

Truly, it was a good film. Thoughtful and thought provoking. A story about love, joy, loss, anguish, sorrow, and selfishness.

Selfishness? Of course. The human failings of selfishness drove these two men to constantly lie to their families, their wives and children, in their efforts to maintain their hidden relationship, and nurture what was, for them, a very real and deep love and need for each other. The human failings of selfishness broke the hearts of two families, and several children.

And to be fair, the men were despairing over what to do, both with their own relationship and their relationships with their families, and how to justify and reconcile with themselves what seemed to be an impossible situation. Here they had in each other the love of their lives - the joy and ecstasy that made live livable for them, and it was forbidden.

I'm not judging right or wrong, just commenting on what the films depicts.

It just seems interesting to me that so many people pre-judge this film, simply for their narrow-minded view of the subject matter. I know I did. My initial thought was, good Lord, Hollywood's at it again, throwing homosexuality down our throats! But after seeing the movie, and I thank the Lord he motivated me and allowed me to be humble and swallow my pride and watch it, I think I've learned something.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a born-again Christian, and I know that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. But so is adultery, lying, stealing, killing, and just about every other vice that you and I, dear reader, are equally as guilty of.

God doesn't differentiate between sins. They're all bad, and God loves us all anyway.

But when we live lives that consist of lies, and are unable to be honest about ourselves and who we are, no matter who we are, we will live poor, paltry, sad, miserable lives. Imagine the freedom and joy that these two men would have had if they'd been able to openly love each other, without fear from either society or their own expectations.

Again, put away your homophobia for minute, and just think. How many men and women live lives of desperation, never being honest about who they are, and what they think, and how they feel?

I think all of us would love to be able to kick off our metaphorical shoes and just run through the metaphorical grass and not give a rip what anyone thinks about who we are; to have no fear of what anyone feels or thinks about us. We always have to be good, or be upright, or be righteous, or be stable, or responsible, or... or.... put your own label in there, because I know you, and me, all have one.

To me, Brokeback Mountain highlighted the savage anguish brought on by deceit and dishonesty, and the torture of touching joy and freedom, then throwing it away because of fear. When we are honest and open, we have freedom from fear. When we hide what we are, we always fear someone will find us out.

I've found that freedom in Jesus. Knowing Jesus had bought me freedom, knowing that my sins, no worse than anyone else's, but just as bad as everyone else's, are paid for. I don't have to answer to anyone, and no one can take away my relationship and eternal life granted by the almighty God. And the freedom of knowing God is pleased with me no matter what I do, because I am his son.

It's that freedom that let me see this movie, and that's why I thanked the Lord for prodding me to see it. I have nothing to fear from different ideas, because I am sure of what I believe in. But to have insight into how others see and experience the world just might help me relate better someday to someone who needs to talk.


Ed Abbey said...

You mean it wasn't about Hollywood trying to shove their gay leftist agenda down our throats?!

I agree totally with what you have written. I missed it in the theaters here but have if on my list of must sees when it comes out in video. I pretty much try to win all award winners and most nominated movies at some point.

Mike J. said...

Nope, no leftist gay agenda that I could see. Certainly a movie about gay men, but not agendized.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

One of my most dearest friends in the world for over 25 years is gay as well as a relative or two. All of them, I love with all my heart. I have no problem with someone being gay. Rights to marriage, not sure on that issue to lean one way or the other. Being a Christian myself...even though others want to question that..all that matters to me though... is what my relationship with Jesus our Lord is on a daily basis. My bible tells me sin in the eyes of our Lord are the same. It is my flesh and being human that I sin and have to ask for forgiveness constantly.

I feel there is an agenda behind this lovely love story put out by Hollywood, however I do plan to watch it when Netflix has it available on DVD. Oh BTW, THANKS for giving away the ending. (smiling) WOW!! Mike...wish you would have saved that.

Glad you and your daughter had a good time, you are a wonderful father.
P.S. Thank you for all your nice and informative comments on my blog. Unfortunately some refuse to listen to the truth no matter if you hit them over the head with it. (LOL)

Mike J. said...

Argh! Sorry about the spoiler. I dind't even THINK about that.