Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger shine in this wonderful reformulation of the codes of romantic and western cinema

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger shine in this wonderful reformulation of the codes of romantic and western cinema

It is not always easy to locate directors who do not have a very specific visual style or who fit into a single film genre. But this does not mean that they are less authors, or have less personality. when it is able to make good movies continuouslyeven changed genres or visual tools, it’s stamp of a huge directoreven if there are no 7-minute sequence shots to take your breath away.

It is the case of the leeone of the best filmmakers of the last thirty years, capable of having successes in different styles -Asian action cinema, dramas, adaptations of Jane Austensuperheroes, spy movies- and give one of the strangest but also coherent races that are remembered.

He even won two Oscars as a director for two films, initially opposed, such as the ambitious fantasy ‘The Life of Pi’ and, previously, for a romantic western called ‘Brokeback Mountain: On Forbidden Land’, recently added to the Netflix catalog .

Sense and Sensibility

Released in 2005, it was one of the films that gave the most talk that year. Mainly because of the details of its story, which follows two cowboys, played by health ledger Y Jake Gyllenhaalcharged with tending the cattle of a rancher in the Brokeback Mountain region.

Both accept the offer for the promise of a fairly stable job, with which to support their respective newly formed families, but they end up finding a connection between them much stronger than they could ever imagine.

That connection of course is love. This cowboy romance was a minor sensation as a novella published by Annie Proulx in 1997. The writers Diana Osana Y Larry McMurtry couldn’t resist trying to turn it into a movie script, and they put together one that was the talk of Hollywood. At a certain point Gus Van Sant became attached to the project, with Matt Damon Y joaquin phoenix under consideration for lead roles. Joel Schumacher also came into the conversation to direct, with edward norton of protagonist.

But the novelist of the original story was clear that she wanted the director of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ for the project. Ang Lee was interested in the script that was sent to her, but she opted first to bring ‘Hulk’ to the screen.

The intense experience left him so exhausted that even considered a temporary retirementbut the romantic story of these cowboys came back to his mind and couldn’t resist the urge to tell this story. And it was the best decision, not only because of the award that I would end up receiving, but because of the fabulous film that we received.

‘Brokeback Mountain: In Fenced Ground’: a powerful romance

Lee employs a pure proximity approach to develop with care and delicacy the romance between both charactersas well as the numerous conflicts that this relationship supposes for them, the repercussions that it has on their environment, how they try to make it not transcend. Complexities of the adult drama that the Taiwanese director is able to embody with empathy and masterysince it is something that ends up marking his entire filmography.

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Because, looking at it well, ‘Brokeback Mountain: On Forbidden Land’ is not so different from ‘Hulk’ or from his other dramas such as ‘The Ice Storm’. They may not share visual style or genre, but all of Lee’s works share a deep exploration of the denials we make to ourselveshow our existence is fractured because of an oppressive context and the need to accept and release the feelings we keep.

That is why it was an appropriate choice for the project, and why his approach is correct. It is also reflected in an excellent direction of actorswhere everyone is brilliant without looking to draw attention to their work, and also in a serene but very sentimental narration. ‘Brokeback Mountain: Forbidden Grounds’ completely rethinks the possibilities of a modern western and classic romance as well, and that’s why it’s as powerful as it is essential.


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