I read the short story by Annie Proulx that the movie is based on (available in Close Range: Wyoming Stories) in February, and I listened to the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack in October, but I hadn’t seen the movie until recently. Now that I have seen it, I only wish I had seen it sooner.
I reread the short story later the same day I saw the movie in order to compare the two, and the movie is very true to the original. In my opinion, Proulx is more or less correct when she writes on her Brokeback Mountain FAQ page,
I may be the first writer in America to have a piece of writing make its way to the screen whole and entire.
The cast is amazing, and Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal deserve extra praise for having the guts to take on the roles of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. Guided by Ang Lee’s excellent and restrained direction and accompanied by beautiful scenery and a great soundtrack—there is something about The Wings that really resonates with me—the actors transfer the characters from the written word to the screen and very little, if anything at all, is lost in the process.
The movie is slow-paced and requires some effort in order for it to be fully appreciated, as there are subtleties and things unspoken that are otherwise easily overlooked; it must be felt. There is a poetic quality to the movie, and it is full of symbolism and open to interpretation. Brokeback Mountain is a quiet, masterful movie that lingers in the mind, one that grows on you and that you keep coming back to long after you have seen it.