Saturday, January 28, 2006
  Brokeback Mountain

Yesterday, I finally saw the most talked about movie in my circle of friends - Brokeback Mountain. It was described as a tour de force by some of my friends. The movie has been directed by Ang Lee of the "The Hulk" and the "Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon" fame. It is based on a story written by E. Annie Proulx. The movie portrays the gay relationship between two cowboys who inhabit the wilderness of America. Here is a review of the movie by Slate's David Leavitt - Men in Love. The movie does manage to portray the relationship between two gay friends in a very subtle fashion. Heath Ledger does a very nice job in portraying the character of tough and taciturn Ennis Del Mar. He is a strong contender for winning the Oscar for the best actor this year.

I found the the pace of the movie sometimes maddeningly slow. Maybe that is how the director wanted it to be. I was told that it takes a certain kind of state of mind to appreciate the true beauty of the cinematography as well as the script of the movie. Moreover, the whole damn thing ends in a tragedy. As my friend Parasuram suggests, "any movie that has a sad ending is not worth watching".

I am an Indian. I have seen enough of tragedy and struggles of people around me through my own eyes. Why would I want to go to a movie theater and pay my hard earned stipend (recently I lost my research funding and am struggling to make my ends meet) to watch a movie that depresses me? I want to run away from the reality in a movie theater like those millions back home in India. Lights! Cameras! Action! Start the fantasy and make me happy.
I think we Americans are rich enough to be able to buy a little sadness once in a while. Your comment did enlighten me to the general observation that many movies from Baliwood are light-hearted and gay (the non-sexual gay).

Thanks for your comments. I agree with you Anon.

I have noticed this propensity among the rich not only in US but also in India to somehow subdue their guilt by appreciating movies, novels, works of art etc. that portray the misery of the world around them. There is nothing wrong in it except for the fact that if you do not appreciate those works, you are categorized as an ignoramus. There is an inherent snobbishness in this that I am against.

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"Saptarishi" in Sanskrit means the Seven Sages or rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The constellation of Ursa Major is also named as Saptarshi. (Source:

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  • Anonymous Anonymous // Friday, March 24, 2006 2:15:00 PM
  • Blogger Aninda Bhattacharya // Saturday, March 25, 2006 9:45:00 PM
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