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Movie Reviews

Mulholland Drive  


Going into Mulholland Drive I had only seen one of David Lynch’s movies. I had not yet been exposed to the likes of the highly praised works, of the renowned filmmaker, such as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, The Straight Story or his television series, Twin Peaks. I had only seen his most critically praised feature, Blue Velvet, is considered by most, not quite including myself, as one of the best films of its decade (the eighties). So, now I’ve seen Mulholland Drive, fifteen years after the original release of Blue Velvet and I must say this deserves much of, and probably more, than the praise that his 1986 classic received.

We are introduced to many characters throughout the movie, some of which who are real, some who are figments of the imagination or figments of a dream of a real character, some who are symbols, and all of which are just damn interesting. Naomi Watts plays Betty, a young, pretty, ambitious blonde coming to Hollywood pursuing an acting career. From here, I don’t know where to start in giving a plot summary, or a character summary.

From a director who is being forced to cast a certain actress for his movie by powerful brothers, the movie’s production monitored by a dwarf in a wheel chair (I think), to a pair of men in a small restaurant living a dream (or rather nightmare) of one of the men who is explaining it at the same time, and from the mystery of the woman with amnesia who stumbles into Betty’s aunt’s house to the rather unexpected lesbian sex scenes, this is one of the weirdest, yet most thought provoking and fascinating, films I have ever seen.

An aspect that I enjoyed immensely was that, unlike most movies, Lynch doesn’t try to tie this movie all up into a neat little package telling us what each scene meant, and who was who. The movie’s end only adds to the confusion (and the possibilities). The film is an extreme case of the phrase “open for interpretation”, as this can be applied not only to the underlying themes but also to almost everything else about the movie. Although I’ve been thinking about it quite often, I haven’t brought myself to accept a theory on the film, and I don’t think I, or anyone else, will ever really figure it out; it’s not meant to be figured out.

The movie looks great. Peter Deming should be commended for his cinematography. The acting is fantastic by a hand full of actors that, to be frank, I have never heard of. The music is chilling setting the perfect atmosphere, and is one of the reasons this movie drew me in me so much. And, of course, David Lynch brings it all together brilliantly.

I’ve read that this movie was originally a pilot for a television series. It was, however, rejected by ABC, so Lynch filmed some more to develop it into a feature film. I am glad that it was rejected in the sense that I did not want to see the restrictions of cable television placed on this brilliant work, but disappointed in a sense that I wanted to see more, and only a television series bring that (I am sure there is no possibility of a sequel).

In a year of films exploring the world of the human mind (reality vs. dreams), Mulholland Drive is among the top. In fact, I believe it is at the very top. Although I have a tremendous amount of respect for other films of the sort (Waking Life, Vanilla Sky, Memento), I believe Mulholland Drive out does them all. This is the only film that has received my A+ rating for it is clearly, to me, the best movie of the year.

Rating: A+ (5 out of 5)

Blair Bass

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