Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 242869 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #120 on: June 06, 2006, 01:20:07 am »
I don't think the movie characters could have touched one another at that good-bye scene. They were like a powder keg, and the slightest touch would have been like a match... though whether the passion would have turned into sex or violence, I don't know. So I don't think the hug and the punching on the shoulders would have been at all believable in the movie.

The way the two scenes are mirrored... it really is a mirror, you know? The conversations beside the truck match each other, and Ennis's collapse mirrors the punch. (Ennis even tries to hit Jack, but he doesn't... either because Ennis isn't fighting himself as hard as he used to, or because Ennis has gotten worn down from too many years of fighting himself, or because Jack knows how Ennis might react and just doesn't let it happen.)

I think you are right, Mel, about the potential effect of a touch. First of all, it wouldn't have been believable in the movie, and it would have undercut the power of the scene, much of which comes from the contrast between their seemingly indifferent parting and Ennis' heart-wrenching collapse a minute later in the alley.

But also, the way you put it just now made me think of the fight scene in whole new light. At first, when they're rolling down the hill, they're expressing something halfway between violence and love. But it turns into pure violence, because Ennis is trying to fight off his feelings. Well, I guess that's obvious. But suddenly I remembered him later expressing his fear that "this thing" might "grab hold of us" -- he simply can't be casual about touching Jack; he can't be sure he can keep control over his emotions if he does. In fact, he can't control them. But he feels safer channeling them into anger than love.

Which I guess also explains why he initially throws Jack off at the lake scene (I wouldn't call it hitting, exactly -- more like shoving him away -- and note that he yells "get the fuck off me!" with the exact same tone and facial expression as he tells the black-hatted passerby "what the fuck you lookin at?" in the alley.)

Also, just to clarify in case I didn't already, what I meant is that the collapse in the lakeside scene mirrors Ennis' collapse in the alley after their parting scene. Both times, he's crying and distraught. In some ways, the second time is better -- Jack is there to comfort him -- but it's also infinitely sadder.

I can't fit enough  :'( s here to express my sadness!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2006, 01:24:57 am by latjoreme »

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #121 on: June 06, 2006, 01:30:53 am »
Oops, I forgot to add my view of Jack's not being the swearing kind. To me, that means he's not one to swear undying faithfulness or to get all mushy (perhaps, again, it's because of his carefulness around Ennis, but part this is from Ennis' POV and he may not understand that). In other words, Jack isn't the kind to do the kind of swearing that one does in a wedding ceremony. But at the end, Ennis finds he is ready to do just that.

Too late, of course. We say this so often we should just use the acronym: TLOC.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #122 on: June 06, 2006, 10:44:32 pm »
Which I guess also explains why he initially throws Jack off at the lake scene (I wouldn't call it hitting, exactly -- more like shoving him away -- and note that he yells "get the fuck off me!" with the exact same tone and facial expression as he tells the black-hatted passerby "what the fuck you lookin at?" in the alley.)

I love both of these moments because they show Ennis trying to be a "tough-guy" at the exact same moment that he's showing his vulnerability and emotional distress/ complexity.  It seems important to note that in the first instance he collapses against the wall due to being heartbroken at feeling that he's lost Jack whereas at the end he collapses against Jack who continues to hold him up.
 :'(

LOL.  Katherine, I was sort of kidding about Jack and the "swearing" issue (especially because the context is so different in the motel).  It is mildly interesting though that we do hear Jack at least utter the word "swear" someplace in the film.
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline akredhead

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #123 on: June 07, 2006, 02:34:13 pm »
I always felt the line meant whatever it we wanted it to me for us personally.

In a sense...the mysterious cavern is ours to spackle with our own meaning...

For me...it meant, "Jack, I swear I will always love you."

For other it might mean, "Jack I swear to be loyal to you."

Or "Jack, I swear I'm so sorry."

But...each of us is touched by that line for a different reason. :)

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #124 on: June 07, 2006, 11:39:40 pm »
Welcome to BetterMost akredhead... great pics in your signature! 
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Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #125 on: June 08, 2006, 02:37:14 pm »
Hi All...

Well, the "Jack I swear, I should've never let you out of my sight." said in the motel room is enlightening, but in the book when Ennis says "Jack, I swear.." at the end, Annie also adds word to the effect (not a quote) "....though he never was one to swear, nor did he ever ask Jack to swear anything." and that further adds to the "openness" of the line "Jack, I swear..."   

And of course the book does go beyond the line and on to his dreaming about Jack and the revealing line, "There was some open space between that he believed and what happened, but nothing could be done about that."  And the last line of the book, is that "realist" statement of Ennis's  "And if you can't fix it, you gotta stand it."   It's interesting that the movie didn't go on to Ennis dreaming etc, but uses the "Jack, I swear..." as the end.  It does really leave the ending open and more mysterious.   Anyway, I'm enjoying what others are saying here.  Thanks!

Rayn
If often wish that just before Ennis says this, the scene faded out to several short clips (not previously seen) through the years starting at Brokeback showing lots of grins, embraces, erc. end with the very last moments together.... Jack picking him up walking Ennis to his truck and then back to present. This would be a way of incorperating the dream into the movie.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 06:28:05 pm by jpwagoneer1964 »
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline akredhead

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #126 on: June 08, 2006, 03:58:50 pm »
Thanks...I was really into the BBM coms on LJ but they're mostly fanfic forums now.

So its nice to find a place of active discussion. :)

Welcome to BetterMost akredhead... great pics in your signature! 

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #127 on: June 10, 2006, 11:45:31 am »
If often wish that just before Ennis says this, the scene faded out to several short clips (no previously seen) through the years starting at Brokeback showing lots of grins, embraces, erc. end with the very last moments together.... Jack picking him up walking Ennis to his truck and then back to present. This would be a way of incorperating the dream into the movies.

Yes, that would have been an interesting way to end it and bring the dreaming into the end of the movie as the book did, for sure.  They shared a lot of joy and good times which are almost left behind and forgotten because of the grief at that end.

Rayn

Offline Mary Twist

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #128 on: June 23, 2006, 06:19:27 pm »
Isn't that lovely about the preacher's asking Ennis in the marriage ceremony "Do you swear"" and then so many years later his answering "I swear" to my son Jack, sadly after he is gone....  i surely second that emotion.

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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #129 on: June 23, 2006, 11:36:58 pm »
Yes, that would have been an interesting way to end it and bring the dreaming into the end of the movie as the book did, for sure.  They shared a lot of joy and good times which are almost left behind and forgotten because of the grief at that end.

You're so right!  It would be a good idea to bring Ennis's dreaming into the movie.  It's true that his dreams are a main feature/ theme in the book, but I guess there and also in the movie the only dream/ memory-dream that we see is Jack's.  It would be very cool to get a little peek into Ennis's memories in the same way.

By the way, Mary... I love the juxtaposition between Ennis's marriage to Alma and the "I swear..." moment too.  But, the preacher never actually says the "swear" part of the marriage ceremony (at least we don't hear that part). For a while I was convinced that I remembered the preacher saying that too.  But, the scene transitions from Ennis crying against the wall through the sound of the preacher leading the prayer.  And then when the visuals cut to the wedding he pronounces them husband and wife and then makes the lame joke about kissing the bride.  I actually think it's nice that the only person we hear Ennis swear to in the movie is Jack.  I think it re-enforces the power of that final "I swear..."
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie