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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by tpe on Mar 14, 2018, 07:39 PM »
I think so too. You do get the impression that she wasn't telling everything. It sounded too rote.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by Coraxx on Mar 13, 2018, 01:41 AM »
Well, the images of Jack being murdered could be interpreted as what Ennis was imagining at that very moment.

In a sense, the movie is s bit ambiguous about this. Although I will admit that showing the images does plant the seed in the viewer's mind that Jack was indeed murdered.

IMO the story Lureen told on the phone sounds too weird to be true. A car accident Yes, but that?
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by tpe on Mar 12, 2018, 09:45 PM »
Also agree regarding the cremation aspect.

I have known someone who requested that his ashes be scattered in various places that he considered his favorite places on earth. You could imagine that his friends couldn't do so openly. In fact, one of the places was in a very well known spot in Venice...
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by tpe on Mar 12, 2018, 09:41 PM »
Well, the images of Jack being murdered could be interpreted as what Ennis was imagining at that very moment.

In a sense, the movie is s bit ambiguous about this. Although I will admit that showing the images does plant the seed in the viewer's mind that Jack was indeed murdered.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by davidinnyc on Mar 09, 2018, 11:32 PM »
Thank you FlwrChild for your replies! They are wonderful.

I guess how I felt was "If I were Jack, I would leave Ennis a long time ago". But then again, that probably means I can't really put myself in his shoes. I grew up in an entirely different time and social context compared to Jack. But one thing for sure is that there must be something special about Ennis that kept Jack along all those years, something special that is not shown in the movie directly. The movie somehow shed more lights on the "conflicts" between Jack and Ennis, as we can see the final fight scene and the time when Jack suggested Ennis move to Texas and Ennis responded with sarcasm.

I do agree that Ennis is the victim of the society and his unfortunately childhood. What's more unfortunately is that he never had access to things (higher education, good mentors, friends...) that could help him overcome those fears. He will forever stuck in his own little world and own fear. I feel sorry for him. But as the years went by, we can no longer separate "true Ennis" and "injected negativity" as them really become one and that's who he is. Empathy shouldn't be the answer for why Jack should stick with him no matter what. But then again, Jack had his own reasons for sticking with Ennis. And he decided to move on after the final fight, he had all the rights to do so as well.

I personally think after the final fight scene, Jack finally realized who Ennis really was it would never change. So Jack was ready to move on. My reason for this is from a movie making as well as a story telling perspective. If after the final fight scene, Jack went home with a broken heart and still had hope that someday Ennis might turn around, then what's the point of including this scene at all as the same scenario happened many times before and was shown in the movie already? There must be something different this time so that it's worth showing in the movie, and that something different is that "Jack's hope is gone". As for the shirts, I think people don't get over a 20-year-relationship in a day. And Jack may still have love for Ennis, but he also realized it would never work out between them, so it was time to move on.

This is even more important when we combine Jack's death, as this affects the overall message of the movie a lot.

1) If Jack died from an accident, the message would be "the fear caused by a homophobic society makes this accident truly tragic". In other words, had it not been for the homophobic society, Ennis would not have so much fear and he would live with Jack, and they would have some precious years together before Jack died from the accident. And accidents do happen in life.

2) If Jack was murdered, we can imagine that Jack finally decided to pursue the life he wanted with someone else (Randall), and that openness got him killed. Then the message of the movie would be "tragic fate of gay guys in a homophobic society", as either they get killed by openly out, or they live an unhappy life like Ennis.

Both messages make sense, but they are different. Although from a movie-making point of view, the movie implies more to the second one (murdered), because if Jack did die from an accident, the movie would tell a more plausible accident and not the cover-up sounding one Lureen told.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Was Ennis really an homophobic person ?
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 09:25 PM »
I know I've stumbled onto this thread long after the last post but I just had to say this was a great discussion.

I agree with the many points about internalized homophobia. And I love the insights from all sides. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this. I'm glad I found it even if I'm a few years behind. This is the wonderful stuff I missed while I was away from the forum. Lesson learned!
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 09:12 PM »
There are two other things I wanted to comment on.

You said that Ennis was "unlovable." I don't see him that way, even with all his intractableness and all Jack's suffering. Ennis was a victim of his upbringing, his experience seeing Earl dead in the ditch (and the belief that his father would view any gay man as equally deserving of such a fate), and the times that they lived in. Jack had similar experiences with his father and the times they lived in but somehow he was able to see beyond what the world wanted them to conform to and believe in a life together, much like Earl and Rich did. The biggest difference between Ennis and Jack was that Ennis could only see the way that Earl died and believe that this would be their fate if anyone knew about them whereas Jack was able to see their life together (and what that was worth) and not just the way Earl died or the dangers for gay men in the world they lived in. No one can say for sure what might have happened if they tried for that sweet life but Jack was willing to take the chance, and certainly many gay men lived quiet lives together during the same time period and didn't get killed for it but poor Ennis just couldn't see past the dangers and his own conflict over being in love with a man. I can't help but feel sorry for him and I think Jack did a little too. Even as he resented being denied the life he believed they could have if only Ennis would do it. My heart breaks for both of them.


The other thing is that while Ennis is the protagonist, and people are always raving about Heath's performance (which was admittedly brilliant), for me it was always about Jack. So much of what he felt was mirrored in his eyes, so much of his pain was so visible to see, and so many of his dreams were so simple and so genuine, that I couldn't help but be drawn to him and I couldn't help feeling protective of him. I felt his pain and I also understood his perspective. I felt Ennis' pain but like Jack was frustrated that he couldn't move past those few short visits over all those years. Would it have hurt less for Jack to let go and just hold onto the memories while he built a different life or for him to stick with what they had when he wanted so much more, because for him those brief moments were better than nothing at all? I have a feeling either of those options would have broken him so I think he was destined to be the sad, disappointed man we see at the final confrontation. Because once he gave his heart to Ennis he couldn't ever take it back.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 08:27 PM »
Interesting questions. There are threads about whether Jack gave up on Ennis or not as well as the ones you found regarding Randall. You might want to check them out too.

I agree that Jack was heartbroken after that last meeting. I can even acknowledge the possibility that something was irreparably broken inside of him as he realized he would never have that life he wanted with Ennis. But I'm still one of those people who believes that whatever else Jack might do, he would always leave room for the possibility that Ennis might one day give him a different answer and so I don't think he gave up on Ennis completely or that he would have made a more established relationship with Randall. I do agree that Randall would have been a safe, comfortable, and accessible alternative for when Ennis was not an option for him and I can't harbor any resentment towards Randall, or towards Jack for needing that kind of connection with another man. But I also hear Jack's voice in my head saying "I wish I knew how to quit you." Not that he had, not that he would, but that he wished he could. Which to me implies that Jack realizes that whatever else happens and whatever else Ennis will or won't do for him/them, Jack will continue to stand it for as "long as we can ride it."

I also think it's unlikely he forgot about the shirts because it seems in the movie that he usually stops in to see his parents when he comes north for his trips with Ennis so odds are good he saw them after that last trip too. And they were still there when Ennis came to visit Jack's parents so at the very least he didn't get rid of them. Which might not mean anything but it still gives me hope.

As for why Randall doesn't get more support from the audience, I think it's just loyalty to Ennis and to the relationship between Ennis and Jack. I can sympathize with Randall but I can't root for him to be with Jack because my heart holds out for Jack and Ennis. Some people might resent Randall for his intrusion on the Jack/Ennis relationship but that isn't his fault (for all we know he doesn't even know that Ennis exists) so that would just be an instinctive emotional response (in my opinion) and not because of anything Randall actually did to draw their dislike. That's how I see it anyway. 
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Last post by FlwrChild on Mar 09, 2018, 07:20 PM »
Good point about all the missing pieces of Jack's life that we don't see.



Another part of Jack's dying wish that I didn't mention was cremation. Since I had doubts about the whole dying wish thing in the beginning, the first time I heard "cremated" in the movie, my hunch was that cremation would be the perfect way to destroy evidence if he were killed. But cremation would be the only possible way for him to go back to BBM after he dies. So in that regard, it makes sense that Jack wants to be cremated.

Well said. I completely agree.
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Characters, Quotes & Scenes / Ennis VS Randall
« Last post by davidinnyc on Mar 09, 2018, 06:21 AM »
Hello guys. I've read through a couple of posts here and there about Randall. As we all know, Randall is a very shadowy figure in the movie and we don't know much about him or his relationship with Jack. I've seen almost universally comments like "Randall was only a backup" "Jack's only love is Ennis". I agree that's probably what the movie implies. But let's put ourselves in Jack's shoes for a minute. He's been seeing Ennis for almost 20 years and Ennis still does not want to move forward. He's keeping Jack stranded without the willingness to make a commitment. To use a modern word, that's "breadcrumbing". I know that it's not entirely Ennis' fault, we gotta look at the social context back then. And in the blue parker scene, Lureen said the truth out loud that "Its' not fair for Jack to drive all the way up". Think about it, if you are dating a guy and have to travel a long way to a location that's convenient for him all the time, how would you feel? It is not fair. I admit that in the movie we can see that Ennis enjoys spending time with Jack and loves Jack. But it seems like Jack puts more effort in the relationship and he never got what he deserved.

I understand back in the 60s gays have to be under the radar and it's not easy to meet another gay guy with whom there is chemistry. In other words, there were not many "options", so people tend to treat every option seriously. But Randall changed that for Jack, now Jack has another option. And I do not see anything wrong for Jack to try it out with Randall.

Of course, there are the 2 shirts. And that's the ultimate evidence for many people that Jack's love for Ennis is irreplaceable. Yes, artistically, that's the instinctive way to interpret the 2 shirts. But realistically, there could be many other explanations as well. The last fight between Ennis and Jack, Jack was obviously heartbroken. He probably finally ran out of hope and patience for the relationship and wanna move on. He may even want to throw the shirts away but never got a chance because he died before he could do it. Or he may also simply forget about the shirts at all since he doesn't live in his parents' house and the shirts have been there for 20 years. 

I always look at the movie as an audience, until today when I tried to put myself in Jack's shoes and I couldn't find a reason to keep loving Ennis. Between an unlovable Ennis and unknown Randall, I wonder why Randall doesn't get much support from the audience.
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