Ang Lee Film Adaption on the Short Story of Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Ang Lee Film Adaption on the Short Story of

 Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Tori Nuariza Sutanto

GambarThe Brokeback Mountain introduced on the cinema on the year of 2005. Directed by Ang Lee, this film won the Oscar Awards on the category of best director. Brokeback Mountain Film adopted from the short story entitled Brokeback Mountain written by Annie Proulx. Since, this film won the Oscar awards on the category of  best director, this respond paper would like to analyze and reveal how the Director Ang Lee adopted this film from the Annie Proulx short story.

            Concerning to the Film adaptation, what point that most discussed are about the changes from the story (narration) to the film which are audio, visual, and also narrated story. The general idea of short story or novel was the more complex potrayal that sometimes not seen in the Film. Therefore, the challenge of adopting short story of Annie Proulx ‘Brokeback Mountain’ are the more details characters and activities. In that sense, the role of Director Ang Lee as the Filmmaker and the Screen Writer Larry Mc-Carthy also Co-writer Diana Ossana are very important. 


            As watching the film, the screenplay is originally adopted from the short story. Still, there are similarities and differences between the film and the short story. Mccharty developed the characters and made the plot more complex than in the story. Comparing to the film, the short story is more focused on the Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar relationship without more focused on the other events going around except their two cowboys love relationship. Also, in the film the scene of Jack’s and Ennis’s families are involved in the main story, for example the Alma characterization when she realized Ennis and Jack love relationship, Lureen families which potrayed as rich families in Texas. The differences was the other supporting characters which told in depth. The relationship of Ennis with his daughter Elma deeply told even in the last scene when the strength of Ennis’s love for Jack when Ennis has to choose between his daughter’s pullover and Jacks’s shirt. Finally he has choosen Jack’s shirt that means he has chosen love for a man rather love for his own daughter. To sum up, the differences is not much potrayed, the screen writers and filmmaker only developed the original story.


            The main issue of this film adn short story was gender and sexuality breaking down into the love of two cowboys and his homosexuality relationship. In this sense, the two cowboys symbolizes the icon of Masculinity and potrayed the historical context of Western countryside life that perhaps the author would like to send message this close relationship between cowboys in the past sometimes exists.


What this paper thinks important is how the Director Ang Lee messages in this film who is the vision of the western life. The life of two cowboys, with countryside lanscapes, originally country musics, and cattles, ranch, fields suroundings. Ang Lee seemed wanted to reach the contemporary issue of postmodern globalizzation world that force the identity crisis. This film shapes the American cultural identity with full of western symbolism such as cow boys, chevrolet, rodeo, thanksgiving party, church weeding. The idea of countryside life and music them of country emphasized the strong message of western identity which memorized when watching this film.


Rather than blowing up the conflict of Man vs society, in this case the homosexuality relationship toward the social convention this film strongly has cultural ideology of western life. The long shots used to show the landscapes of brokeback mountain also supported the spectators feelings of western life. The conflicts of Ennis to fight for his freedom of love and his decision fully developed. Also Jack Twist who was an independent brave decision maker who does what he thinks right. Ennies fearness of social convention and the force love feelings of Jack can touch the feelings of empathy. To conclude, this film adaptation is better in terms of visualizing the western life, symbolism, and answering the crisis of identity in the contemporary global world by sending western values but not fully catched the conflict of his freedom of love and daily existence toward the society convention of homosexuality,while the short story not explored countryside atmosphere and landscapes.



Davood Afkahmi, 2011.“Adapting Annie Proulx Short Story to Ang Lee Feature Film Study of the Adaptation Process from Short Story to Feature film”


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