Famed Christian writer, recording artist, and actor Pat Boone thinks Brokeback Mountain has killed the genre of the Western. "One of our country's finest exports for 75 years, the dramatic story where lonely heroes fight desperate but victorious battles, where the good guys always win and the desperadoes get what they deserve, has been dealt a possibly fatal wound." He says he saw his friend Denzel Washington "cringe" when he announced that Brokeback won the Golden Globe for Best Film.
Boone can stop worrying. Brokeback hasn't broken anything.
Despite the hype, which characterizes Ang Lee's "gay cowboy movie" as a celebration and affirmation of homosexuality, the story is something altogether different. The two gay characters, Jack and Ennis, live frustrating and unfulfilled lives, mainly due to their own rash decisions and devastating lies. One rushes the other into drunken sex, which sparks an obsession that later disrupts the traditional American families—read: marriages and children—that they have developed.
Their preoccupation with meeting for sexual rendezvous makes liars and cheaters out of both of them, and wreaks havoc on their families. Defenders of the film blame a repressive society, and clearly the hatred and bigotry of others make a bad situation worse. But it's obvious that Jack and Ennis bear a great deal of responsibility for their distressing predicament. There are so many varieties of sin at work in Brokeback Mountain that discerning viewers will come away feeling broken-hearted for everyone—the lonely and tormented men, the deceived and betrayed wives, and the children who lack honest fathers.
But there are other reasons that Boone should quit worrying about the state of the Western. Dramas ...1
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