I have to confess that I have listened to the audiobook twice, read the novella once, and watched the movie three times. I even did an essay comparing the movie and the novella, and if you let me brag a little bit, it all went amazingly good!
I love this novella not only for the love story which made cry my eyes out, but for the strong political discourse that it has. I really like how Proulx transgress the normative by having two gay cow boys in a state that is known for its bigotry and violence against the LGBT community. She does not only transgress and breaks the stereotype of the macho bravado of the typical cowboys, but she unbox the gay characters from the limp-wristed sissy and gay psychopath label.
The novella and the movie start different, but the director of the movie shifts the emotions to the end of the movie which make it really heavy to digest and for Christ sake making it too difficult not to cry with it. In the movie and novella, we see how the characters love each other immensely and how they fear hugely being killed. But why would they fear that much? The setting of the movie and novella was 1960 to the 1980 and in a cowboy society. However, the problem is that they leave in a patriarchal society that preaches and condemns men and women for going against the normative and against the hegemonic group.
I loved from the movie all the shots and how the director “hide” the characters in nature, in the mountains. The LGBTQ community is constantly attacked and forced to live in the “closet” to feel save. Isolation is a topic discussed on both novella and movie as the characters are isolated willingly for the sake of their own savety in the mountains. However, mother nature embraces them and protects them from the patriarchal bigotry that rules this world.
I will totally recommend to read the novella, listen the book, and watch the movie. When adapting a short story to a movie, it makes it more alike to the text in regards plot, dialog and themes, and this is a master peace. Pay attention to all the elements and to the way everything happens, read between the lines, and you will see that beyond two gay cowboys, you will find two humans living under terror for being who they are.
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