Blue Velvet is a film I have seen several times and which I really like so therefore I had a lot of pre-conceptions coming in to watching it this week. I therefore tried to pretend to watch the film with new eyes but this was inevitably impossible, so apologies if this review is a little biased.

THE PLOT

Geoffrey (Kyle Maclachlan) discovers a severed ear in his backyard he sets out on an investigation leading him into two love affairs and the discovery of a crime gang in his neighbourhood headed by the increasingly odd Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper)

THE GOOD

One of the things that Lynch does best as shown previously to this film in Eraserhead and later in his career with Twin Peaks is that he takes a normal town adds unexplainably odd characters and then does something incredibly weird and horrific.

Blue Velvet has this Lynchian factor down to a tee. The film begins with a beautiful montage full of imagery showing a standard American lumber town; then introduces a few odd characters before Geoffrey finds the ear and his adventure begins. From this point the film straddles the line between normality (with a little weirdness) and the just plain messed up. For example after finding the ear Geoffrey takes it to the police station shows it an officer whose response is a casual ‘That’s an ear alright’. Moments like this are odd yet also slightly comedic as their deadpan delivery is obviously meant as some sort of sick joke.

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After these moments the film often gets more intense with graphic sex and violence being a common factor in this film. The violence inflicted is made much more intense following the slight comic elements. It is also quite shocking the amount of violence as many of the townspeople are made out to be fairly normal with odd quirks in their personalities.

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All the casts perform admirably in this film considering its odd nature however Dennis Hopper playing the villain Frank Booth is the stand out. His character constantly swears and breathes creepily from a gas mask. His opening scene consists of rape and he performs magnificently; taking the comic oddness that his character contains and making it truly horrifying.

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The film also contains one of my favourite moments of product placement:

THE BAD

When watching the film this time and trying to pick holes in it I really struggled as I truly believe this film to be an exemplary piece of cinema. The only real problems I could find are that story is a little slow and implausible at times; however I think that is the point as Lynch is not trying to spoon-feed his audience.

Due to the oddness of the characters in the film I also found that I didn’t really care for any of them come to the end of the film; other than Geoffrey (who although with his own strangeness always remains the focus of normality). This lack of empathy for the ending meant that certain moments in the climax and ending that didn’t affect me even though they where clearly meant to.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Blue Velvet is a true classic and the best example of David Lynch’s work. It’s not a film for everyone however those ‘who get it’ will join me in saying it is a masterpiece. 5 Lynch’s.

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