Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Monologue: "Jack Twist"

I'll soon go back to older films for the weekly monologue fixture but I've been feeling all nostalgic for recent cinema this past few weeks. So here's another one that's fresh in mind. Though much of Brokeback Mountain's emotional potency depends on Heath Ledger's genius and stagnant wounded boy routine as "Ennis Del Mar", it's Jake Gyllenhaal's long death as "Jack Twist", from open hearted careful optimism to frustrated 'it's all behind us' middle age rage, which delivers the film's puncture wound of honesty. The air hisses out of their already oxygen-deprived love.
Yeah, well try this one. And I'll say it just once.

We coulda had a good life together, fucking real good life. Had us a place of our own. But you didn't want it Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain. Everything's built on that --that's all we got boy. Fuckin all. So I hope you know that if you don't never know the rest.

You count the damn few times that we have been together in nearly twenty years and you measure the short fucking leash you keep me on and then you ask me about Mexico and you tell me you'll kill me for needing somethin' that I don't hardly never get.

You have no idea how bad it gets. I'm not you -- I can't make it on a couple of high altitude fucks once or twice a year. You are too much for me Ennis. Son of a horsin' bitch.

I wish I knew how to quit you.
The film's signature line, though cheapened by catchphrase ubiquity, is as close to perfect as a line of dialogue can be: a poignant capsule of shared self-negating tragedy. And it's not even uttered to the camera. Ennis' back has been turned toward Jack for most of his furious release of emotion. Now Jack himself finally turns away. It's quitting time.

19 comments:

Kamikaze Camel said...

*sigh*

don't even get me started...

ALTHOUGH: "...I don't hardly never get" triple negatives are sort of frustrating. Like, majorly. :P

Colin said...

Glenn:

"In life two negatives don't make a positive. In English double negatives are ungrammatical, but Italian uses double and even triple negatives so that a statement feels like its meaning. In anguish an Italian might say, 'Non ho niente mia!' ('I don't have nothing never!') Italians know life. Double negatives turn positive only in math and formal logic. In life, things just get worse and worse and worse."
-- Robert McKee, Story

All things considered, "I don't hardly never get" is fitting. Only a couple of high-altitude fucks a year with the one you both love and hate could drive anyone over the edge after decades.

WickedScorp said...

quittin' time.

Jack always seems to go a bit under-appreciated but of the two, his was the one I felt for most; connected to.

JA said...

You just had to make me cry first thing on a Monday morning, didn't ya, Nat? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick about hearing about Julianne Moore on this website. She needs to take a 10 year break from making movies.

Anonymous said...

She's a bad actress indeed.

NATHANIEL R said...

omg. julianne was in Brokeback!?! I guess i need to watch it more carefully ;) i so missed that.

sa said...

haha, maybe julianne plays the older version of heath's daughter in brokeback 2? kidding...

love that scene. i thought it was sonofawhore son bitch... or some such variation. didn't know there to be a horse in the line?

Deborah said...

I cried like a goddamn baby.

NATHANIEL R said...

Sa --it might have been that yes. it's tough to make out what he's saying

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... some things you believe in the hands of the right director and actor look very bad when lonely printed on a page... did this film really deserve the Screenplay award, since that sort of speech could have equally premiered (minus the swear-words) in any other melodrama?

Andy Scott said...

My favorite part of the whole movie comes right after this when Ennis says "It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this" and everything. Watching him fight back tears...agh. It's tough to to hold back your own.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I love that Anonymous replied to his/her own message and tried to make it look like a different anonymous person.

GOLD!

Colin, my teachers drilling it into me would disagree, but I see your point.

daveylow said...

Did Jake only win one acting award for this film? The BAFTA? Anyway, he sure deserved more.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Didn't he win the NBR or something like that. Oh, and the MTV award. I know he won that illustrious honour.

Deborah said...

Did Jake only win one acting award for this film? The BAFTA? Anyway, he sure deserved more.

Four nominations, of which the BAFTA was his only win.

Anonymous said...

That was such a beautiful and heartbreaking scene. Jake was so good in that movie. Very underrated performance, imo.

dude99 said...

Lacrimae rerum.

Anonymous said...

it's "son of a whoreson bitch." No horses in that monologue.