E. Annie Proulx
Focus Features, Good Machine, Paramount Pictures, This is That Productions, Alberta Filmworks Inc.
Italian dialogue and dubbing direction:
Gianni G. Galassi
Dubbing sound technician:
Inspired by the novel “The Shipping News” (edited in Italy with the title “Gente del Wyoming”) by E. Annie Proulx, the film tells the touching, moving story of an impossible love: between two men.
It’s August 1963 in Signal, Wyoming, when two youngsters, just over twenty years of age, in order to earn some money during the summer agree to take a flock of sheep to Brokeback Mountain. Amidst the mountains the two young men have to face the harsh conditions of shepherd life and very soon their friendship develops from a very physical relationship to something gradually more emotional and deeper. At the end of the season Ennis and Jack go their separate ways. Ennis stays in Wyoming, he marries Alma and becomes a father of two girls. Whereas Jack manages to get along by taking part in rodeos until he meets Lureen, the daughter of a rich agricultural machinery Texan trader. He also gets married and has a son. He works in the family business in Texas and leads a comfortable life. Four years pass and one day Ennis receives a postcard from Jack. The two of them meet up again and the passion which they both thought had subsided lights up again. Not wanting to live without one another they clandestinely meet up every time they can travelling the hundreds of miles which separate them with the excuse of going fishing or hunting.
However Alma finds out the truth, leading her to ask for a divorce. When Jack gets to hear of it he proposes to his friend to get a piece of land and to cultivate it together but Ennis refuses. So a heated discussion ensues with both blaming and reproaching the other (Jack more than Ennis) for being too different character wise. From this moment on they will never see each other again and Ennis with his taciturn and stubborn character ends up poor and alone whilst Jack, rich above all in his dreams, ends up worse than his friend. A heartbreaking and painful epilogue which relates to all impossible love stories, destined, because of their impossibility, to remaining incomplete.
This “homo-drama”, as it has been defined, narrates a difficult relationship with delicacy especially in an America made up of coarse rough cowboys in those years where machismo reigns with the spreading of ranches, rodeos and country music like “King of the Road”. Thanks to the magistral direction of Ang Lee there aren’t any ridicule laps during the love scenes nor stereotype speech or clichés in the dialogues, which are, on the contrary very precise.
The Italian dialogue and the orchestration of the dubbing, both entrusted to Gianni Galassi, are very well adapted, so much so that the voices of the interpreters (Alessio Cigliano for Ennis and Fabrizio Vidale for Jack) with their different tones correspond in full to the contrasting personalities of the two cowboys.
As far as the dialogue is concerned there are some lively quips, like when Ennis takes it out on the mule who knocked over the food supplies which it was meant to carry, exclaiming: “Asino d’un mulo!” (Donkey of a mule), or for example, the veiled ironic expression “cogliere margheritine”, “to pick daisies” (in the original “stem the rose”) used by the employer Aguirre when referring to what took place between Ennis and Jack at Brokeback Mountain.
Well chosen is Ennis’ almost spoken written answer to Jack’s postcard asking him to meet up.
Only two small things to point out. The first concerns the scene in which Ennis looks for Alma at the mini-market in which she works and asks where he can find her. The answer given to him is “reparto golosità” (greed or glutton department). Spontaneously one asks oneself in which Italian supermarket, however big or small, this name is used to indicate what would have been better named “reparto dolciumi” (sweet department). The problem is understanding what one means exactly by “golosità” (greed), which for someone could even mean salty snacks. In reality it’s a totally different meaning in the original version, and that is “condiments aisle”, the area in which one can find sauces used to dress food, like tomato sauce. What can one say? The reason for this change from English to Italian for the moment remains a mystery, maybe the only real secret of the film. As they say, it’s a question of taste…
The second objection refers to the title which could simply have been left to the original “Brokeback Mountain”. To add “I segreti di” (the secrets of) in the wake of “Twin Peaks” is not very effective, also because it’s not a thriller, so the spectator knows straightaway what to expect and furthermore, there is nothing in the film which is not revealed, expect for the above-mentioned tomato sauce mystery.
For the rest, “Brokeback Mountain” (I hope the Italian distributor won’t be offended if at the end of the review I leave the title in its original form) is worthy of an Oscar, no, maybe more.
[original review in Italian by Marica Rizzo]