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This movie might had sparked some controversy at the time but the actual movie itself is kept very simplistic and humble. It doesn't feel like it necessarily wanted- or tried to be revolutionary, confronting or controversial. It simply tries to tell a good and sweet little love-story. And the movie actually succeeded very well at doing just that.

It's definitely the more independent type of movie, made with a low budget and a small cast and crew, that just happened to blow up big time because of its subject. Sure, nothing unusual about a romantic movie with a big name cast in it but it is when the main focus of its story is about the love between two men, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in this case.

To me the movie however never necessarily felt like a homosexual love story. It just happened to be so that the movie featured two human beings, who got strongly attracted to each other and happened to be of the same sex. I don't even fully believe that both characters were necessarily homosexual themselves. It simply just happened to them, with as a result a conflict between the heart and mind. They definitely want to be together all the time, since it feels right for both of them but not at all costs. This brings up some interesting dilemmas and drama, which also involves different characters, such as the wives and families of the two men.

It really is ultimately a very sweet movie, despite of all the drama that is happening as well. It never goes over-the-top with anything and keeps things real and sensible at all times. The characters, their motivations and behavior are all very convincing, making this a mostly realistic genre movie as well.

It also definitely works out well because of its acting. These sort of roles are never easy to play for guys, who are not into guys themselves but both Heath Ledger Jake Gyllenhaal deserve lots of praise and credit for their performances and commitment to this movie and their roles. There were certainly not holding back in anyway and were fully prepared and willing to go all the way with their performances.

The movie is besides also a good looking- and well made one. Things are deliberately being kept small and simple, so there are no distractions from its main story. It has some great directing by Ang Lee in it, who tells the story both through its imagery and by getting the best out of its actors.

No, I wasn't fond of just everything. Sometimes things felt rushed and it seemed like it skipped over certain things too fast and easily. Who knows, maybe an additional 30 minutes could had done a lot more for the movie and its story.

Simply a good, simplistic and besides of course also original love-story!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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