I recently watched the movie "Brokeback Mountain" for the very first time after finishing "Call Me By Your Name" in my effort to watch every single movie up for the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards this year. "Brokeback Mountain" was a movie that gained a high number of Academy Award nominations, winning in the Best Director, Best Original Music Score and Best Adapted Screenplay categories.
The movie depicts a fiery romance between two gay (or bisexual) cowboys, Jack and Ennis. The first sexual encounter that Jack and Ennis ever had was really a good indicator of how their relationship would pan out as well as an in-depth look into what Ennis was really like. I could write an entire separate article on how Jack Twist deserved a hell of a lot better than anything Ennis could have ever given him. Although Jack was a horny little devil and often times let his genitals do the thinking for him instead of his own brain, which is really what roped him into his random relationship with his wife, he still deserved better than the abuse he endured from Ennis.
The very first time they slept together had a moderately violent approach, proving the scene to be a little difficult to watch at times. I couldn't really tell if Jack was enjoying it as he was the one who initiated it or if he was in pain and this was one of the very Academy Award-nominated films that I watched without reading along, I wasn't really unsure of the intent of Ennis and if the grimaces of Jack were ones of pain or pleasure.
It seemed to be that a driving force in the relationship with Jack and Ennis was sex, indicating why Ennis had three children with his wife within the first few years of their marriage, and the scene before cutting to them standing it divorce court together was a sexual one. In the beginning, it seemed this was really all Ennis was interested in, but as time progressed, his true feelings for Jack became evident.
From the very first glance, it was pretty clear how Jack felt about him as they sat at the campfire and Ennis told him the story of what it was really liked being raised by his siblings after his parents died in a car crash. The pure bliss of Jack's face was evident as he remarked that this was the most Ennis had ever spoken to him.
Abuse and perhaps anger issues seemed to be embedded in Ennis' character as the same emotional and sexual abuse and neglect he gave to Jack were also displayed towards his wife, Elma. When watching it, I was unaware that Ennis was going to be married within the first thirty minutes of the film as well as unaware as to why he and Jack decided to sleep with one another after barely having met one another. It seemed that they very first interactions and real conversations with one another before spending that night in the infamous tent.
After Ennis crawled into the tent that one night, it was the beginning of their wild roller coaster of abuse, love, neglect, and pain. He opened the tent the next morning as if what they had there that night ought to stay in that tent and never be let out, like the inside of the tent was some sort of alternate world that held the secrets him and Jack both so desperately wanted to him. Jack assured him if a secret is what he wanted then that's what he would get. Their affair was kept under wraps. However, Ennis' shame ran very deep in his relationship with Jack.
The abusive and angry side of Ennis burst out again when his ex-wife confronted him of the whole affair later, he grabbed her arm, jerking her around the kitchen as she screamed for her new husband who was just the room over, their three children looking dumbfounded in the kitchen. The kids followed him out to the car, still quiet and dumbfounded completely unaware as to what their father really was which was an abusive and angry man.
Ennis had his soft sides. We saw it when he cradled and kissed his babies as well as when he turned Jack aware the one time that Jack drove all the way from Texas to be with him because he preferred spending time with his children. The love Ennis had was tucked away deep in the depths of his soul, rarely every truly getting uncovered. He was a quiet soul, but a sweet one... you just had to look awfully hard to find it.
Sometimes I truly wondered if Ennis had any emotions in him other than sexual frustration and anger with the occasional spurt of feeling. You saw it when he held his children and you also saw it when Jack held him.