Thursday, February 16, 2006

A fresh angle ...

... to Brokeback Mountain is provided by Vikram Johri: Weighs heavy on the heart . I found this particularly interesting:

Critics have hailed Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the brooding protagonist. Frankly, I didn’t think much of the performance. Ledger seemed to be only playing a cowboy version of himself, with a drone that was hard to decipher.

I confess to being one of those who thought much of Ledger's performance -- I thought it the best screen acting I had seen since Russell Crowe's turn in A Beautiful Mind, and for the same reason: both actors, it seemed to me, didn't just play their parts; they inhabited them. But Vikram, I gather, has seen Ledger in other performances. I haven't, so I have no way of comparing this performance with others he has done.
But I also wonder if I was moved by the performance simply because it was a class version of a classic role: the strong silent Western hero? It's a role -- Gary Cooper perhaps personified it -- that resonates with me, and lots of other American males. One reason I write poetry is that it lets me say things I would ordinarily not talk about.


  1. The problem with Ledger, Frank, as far as I see it, is that he has perfected the stiff, few words act in the last couple of roles. Be it Gabriel in The Patriot or Grotowski in Monster's Ball, he has been donning the cheerless role far too often. No doubt he shines in such roles, but the real test of his acting can come only when he shifts from this trajectory. In his latest Candy too, he allegedly plays a bummed out junkie.

  2. Aha! So what we have is a one-trick pony. Well, having seen the trick only once, I was duly impressed. Thanks, Vikram.

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