It would be very easy to dismiss Brokeback Mountain as a movie that waves the “gay pride flag” and who’s sole purpose is to exploit the notion that anyone can be gay to a public that is unwilling to accept that idea. But Brokeback Mountain is directed by famed martial arts director Ang Lee and his presence alone adds an entirely different dimension to Brokeback Mountain. Ang Lee has directed such martial arts classics as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and his resume is filled with diversity and a range of work that makes many other Hollywood directors cringe with jealousy. Ang Lee is already a legend in his native Taiwan and his winning of the Oscar for directing Brokeback Mountain has only helped to increase his popularity in the United States. It was feared that a dismal commercial performance by his movie The Hulk in 2003 had done terrible damage to his career and reputation in the United States, but with Brokeback Mountain Lee not only reestablished himself as a talented director but he also proved he was able to put out a critically acclaimed movie as Brokeback Mountain was nominated for over 80 awards before 2005 was done.
As was mentioned before it is easy to dismiss Brokeback Mountain as a gay pride movie but it is a lot more than just that. Admittedly the first scenes between Gyllenhall and Ledger that involve homosexual activity are very shocking and filmed in such a way that some people may find them difficult to watch. But the movie explores all aspects of the cowboys’ relationships and follows them through their lives after they meet to show how living a double life can take its toll. The deep levels to which the movie investigates the heterosexual relationships of the two cowboys give a life and color to their entire character and breathes life into the entire story.
Some people find movies such as this difficult to watch and difficult to accept but if you dismiss Brokeback Mountain without seeing it first then you are missing a wonderful movie. Some of the criticism of this movie is that it relied on shock value to do promotion and get people to buy tickets. The reality is that all the studio did was advertise the release of what they felt was going to be a fine movie for everyone to see that dealt with a controversial subject. The narrow minded public, and media, created their own controversy that drove Brokeback Mountain to box office success.