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Author Topic: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)  (Read 357938 times)

Offline Melisande

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Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« on: January 07, 2006, 10:36:24 AM »
Alma Jr., the shirts, "I swear, Jack" - discuss it here.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 06:37:19 AM by peteinportland »
let be, let be

Offline gnash

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2006, 07:19:07 AM »
when ennis asks alma jr. "this kurt fella... does he love you?" and she says yes, he looks out the window. this scene melts me, you can feel what he's thinking. he was 19 when he met jack, she's 19 when she's with kurt.

alma jr. says, "yes daddy, he loves me."

if only ennis had asked himself the same question when he was 19... "does jack love me?" would he have admitted the truth that he knew to be true?

that final shot of the closet/window was sublime. the choice was his to make -- keep it in the closet, or go out in the world, alive with light and wind and growing things,,, such a beautiful scene. from beginning to end, brokeback is truly a masterpiece of cinema.

*cries*


"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  – Ang Lee


Offline GrahamUK

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2006, 08:51:26 AM »
Hi, I saw the film a couple of days ago with my partner when it opened here in the UK.  I didn't expect the film to affect me like it did and it is heartwarming to hear many of you feel the same way.  Even now just thinking about it is quite emotional.  What I would like to know is your views and thoughts on the very last scene where Ennis is in his trailer stood at the wardrobe and he says: "I swear, Jack" , what does he mean?

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2006, 11:24:05 AM »
IJSE, I always cry there too for exactly the same reason. It is a beautiful moment: "yes, daddy, he loves me." Flash back to a 19 yo Ennis: "yes, Jack loves me."

We never, ever hear the two of them say "I love you." However, we hear it loud and clear in this scene!


Offline desperadum

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2006, 12:02:20 PM »
Hi, I saw the film a couple of days ago with my partner when it opened here in the UK.  I didn't expect the film to affect me like it did and it is heartwarming to hear many of you feel the same way.  Even now just thinking about it is quite emotional.  What I would like to know is your views and thoughts on the very last scene where Ennis is in his trailer stood at the wardrobe and he says: "I swear, Jack" , what does he mean?

Hey Graham - I just saw the movie for the second time over the weekend (having seen it first a month before when it opened). That line and essentially that ending are lifted directly from the short story. In the book, Ennis has just tacked up the postcard next to the hanging shirts, looks at them and says that. (It has not been preceded by the wonderful scene with the daughter in which he asks her if her fiance loves her.) The story continues for a few more lines after this, noting that Jack had never asked Ennis to swear anything. I think it was the summation of Ennis's feelings for Jack that he had never been able to express while he was alive, and had come to realize since his death. It was his way of saying I love you.

Offline DeeGilles

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 08:13:29 PM »
I think the "I swear" line means, "I swear, if I had known things would have turned out this way, I would have taken a chance, found the way for the two of us to have a life together." (Or perhaps that's my own wishful thinking.)

That final line is  all about regret and the sting of things that cannot be undone.  I think Ennis realizes too late how deeply he truly loved Jack.  The "I swear" broken off, is also symbolic of their uncompleted, "broken off" love affair.  Someone used the word "thwarted" in a recent post, referring to the John Twist, the "stud duck".  That word applies to Jack's life, Ennis's life, Ennis parents lives, Jack's parent's live ( and the lives of countless others who are trapped into just existing with no real joy.) 

In those two words, we are made to feel Ennis' regret, frustration and grief.  My mind keeps going back to that question- "I swear"? It's a mystery that won't ever be resolved.  Proulx is a brilliant writer.  She shows Ennis to be taciturn and enigmatic even until the end.  It makes you want to reach out and try to get inside his head, break those barriers down, comfort him.  Probably why Jack loved him so much.  Ennis was so obviously wounded, Jack wanted to "fix" him, wanted to give him happiness, a good life after the bad hand he was dealt as a kid.

God, the way Ennis inhales those shirts really did me in.  I sobbed in the car all the way home!
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Offline verkeerd

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2006, 09:52:22 PM »
Ang Lee mentioned in an interview that he did an alternative cut of the ending, without the Alma Jr. part, but have Ennis leave the Twists and then straight back to his trailer with the shirts scene. He said that would have been closer to the short story, "more harsh, more Western" but everybody else, including the producers, prefer the cut we have now. Do you think the alternative cut would have been closer to the story's desolate spirit? I actually love the story's last paragraph, especially the dream that is both sweet and grief-stricken at the same time, and described in such accurate dream-language. I guess the film couldn't really have expressed the dream and without it, the scene would have been too desolate. So perhaps the current version does work better... and a little redemption is okay sometimes!

Offline desperadum

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2006, 10:04:17 PM »
Ang Lee mentioned in an interview that he did an alternative cut of the ending, without the Alma Jr. part, but have Ennis leave the Twists and then straight back to his trailer with the shirts scene. He said that would have been closer to the short story, "more harsh, more Western" but everybody else, including the producers, prefer the cut we have now. Do you think the alternative cut would have been closer to the story's desolate spirit? I actually love the story's last paragraph, especially the dream that is both sweet and grief-stricken at the same time, and described in such accurate dream-language. I guess the film couldn't really have expressed the dream and without it, the scene would have been too desolate. So perhaps the current version does work better... and a little redemption is okay sometimes!

That's very interesting. I agree that the story's actual ending would've been next to impossible to film, and it did carry the tire iron image. I loved the scene with Alma Jr. It had a melancholy sweetness, showed Ennis to be a caring parent whose daughter loves him, and significantly gave him the opportunity to ask her if her fiance loved her, not something I recall being a part of his vocabulary before. It conveys that he understands exactly what he had and what he lost, and leads beautifully to the postcard and hanging shirts, and his last line which is both understandable and decipherable, if that makes sense.

Offline Ryan

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2006, 10:35:32 PM »
'Jack, I swear...'

Says so many things...  I can hear Ennis saying that to Jack, in a teasing way (like he would tease him about his harmonica playing). Like, Jack, "look what you've gone and done... gotten yourself killed"  -- one of the 5 stages of grieving that he is in. But of course there is more.  To me, this line means that Ennis is swearing his love for him. If things had been different 20 years earlier, they would be different now. He is also swearing that he will honor him -- that someday, somehow, he will honor his wishes and get his ashes to Brokeback. It is the least he can do. 

Also I think he is saying that Jack still has a hold on him, and always will. He swears that someday they will be together again.

Jack is still part of his life -- always will be -- based on the last line few lines of the story. He swears he will never let him go.

Offline blairski

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2006, 01:17:37 AM »
He is also swearing that he will honor him -- that someday, somehow, he will honor his wishes and get his ashes to Brokeback. It is the least he can do. 

I've always thought that finding the shirts with the blood on them means he can fulfill Jack's wishes.  He can bring the shirts to the mountain, or burn them and scatter the ashes.  That way some little piece of Jack will be there as he wanted.

Offline Alijoon

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2006, 09:19:46 AM »
when ennis asks alma jr. "this kurt fella... does he love you?" and she says yes, he looks out the window. this scene melts me, you can feel what he's thinking. he was 19 when he met jack, she's 19 when she's with kurt.

alma jr. says, "yes daddy, he loves me."

if only ennis had asked himself the same question when he was 19... "does jack love me?" would he have admitted the truth that he knew to be true?

that final shot of the closet/window was sublime. the choice was his to make -- keep it in the closet, or go out in the world, alive with light and wind and growing things,,, such a beautiful scene. from beginning to end, brokeback is truly a masterpiece of cinema.

*cries*


thank you, i cried reading this post
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Offline Diane

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2006, 09:46:21 AM »
I think that the scene with Alma jr here shows us that Ennis has evolved...prior to this he couldn't really say yes to his daughter, he was always unavailable to everyone. Jack's death has made him realize that he has to show up NOW for his relationships. And he has realized this too late for him and Jack, but not too late for him and his daughter, and so changes his plans so that he can be there to attend her wedding. It allows Ennis some redemption as a character, and the "I swear" is his way of showing up for Jack now, expressing (but not completing the sentence) his love for Jack and his acknowledgement,at long last, of their relationship.

Offline sayitaintso

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2006, 10:41:35 AM »
To me the words that follow "I swear" are "I swear I never".  "I never meant to",  "I swear, if only "  etc. etc.. It's something you say to try to absolve yourself of something rotten you did, but unintentionally.  It's lame.
To me it states Ennis' failure, and I hear it as a warning to the reader/viewer to live and love now, because tommorrow might be too late.

So, in fact I do see the Alma Jr. addition as Hollywood's acknowledgement that American audiences don't do tragedy. 

Offline marius

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2006, 11:03:55 AM »
IJSE, I always cry there too for exactly the same reason. It is a beautiful moment: "yes, daddy, he loves me." Flash back to a 19 yo Ennis: "yes, Jack loves me."

We never, ever hear the two of them say "I love you." However, we hear it loud and clear in this scene!



But did it lead Ennis to "swear" to Jack consequently. Maybe he was trying to tell him that he swears he will love him always?
That would be so optimistically healing for many of us.

Also Ennis will go to his daughter's wedding. Which means no work on that  day or maybe for a few days even. Now when you think of the last scene when J&E were together. When Ennis was too preoccupied with his ranch job to fullfill his promise to meet up with Jack in August. It sounds like some sort of redemption act. That he has got to get it right this time. For at least he will do it in the name of love, at last.

Offline happycamper

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Re: Scene: Last Scene ("I swear" scene)
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2006, 11:14:01 AM »
"I swear..." that I regret never giving you the life together that you wanted, and if you were here now, things would be different.