This week I must apologise as I watched the wrong film… The eighth feature film directed by David Lynch is Straight Story, however due to a mishap with me accidentally looking at his writers credit when going to watch the film I accidentally watched Mulholland Drive!
Mulholland Drive however is an astounding film. Originally created as a TV pilot when it was rejected by the studios Lynch filmed some extra footage to round up loose ends and finished it as a feature film that is thoroughly entertaining and full of meaning.
When aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) arrives in Hollywood, she finds that a amnesiac woman, Rita, is staying in her aunt’s house. Betty and Rita thus set out to figure out what happened; gathering clues that lead them to Mulholland Drive, a Winkies diner and a TV Studio amongst other places. The film explores dreams and reality in a unique way and at no point ‘spoon feeds’ the audience.
When watching the film it is difficult not become creeped out. The film throws you right into the deep end and for a long time you have literally no idea what is going on… not that it really matters, every scene has something unique and mesmerizing about it that I found myself really not caring that the characters where caricatures on the verge of extreme, particularly Naomi Watts fresh faced actress.
As expected the film follows the Lynch pattern and contains several bizarre characters that help to move the story; in this film they include a cowboy, a coffee-spitter and a crazy old lady. However one of the most bizarre roles is given to Justin Theroux who plays film director Adam Kesher. In a blatant parody of how the studio system in the US exploits their directors, Kesher is forced to hire a lead actress whom he doesn’t believe correct for the part in a series of strange encounters and vague threats. Amongst all this he also discovers his wife is having an affair in what is a brilliant comic moment of the film.
It is difficult to explain the film without giving away spoilers and therefore I won’t say much other than that the last half hour of the film is a true wonder and does a really good job of fixing the plot-holes from the TV pilot and rounding everything off to a point where it mostly makes sense. This portion of the film contains a new set of characters played by the same cast members and is extremely confusing to figure out, but once it clicks is ridiculously clever.
It is difficult to think of anything bad with this film as it is so enjoyable; however I do have a small problem in that a few scenes (not containing the main cast) seemed to be a little pointless. For example there is a scene when two policemen discuss the car crash but are never seen again – these scenes most likely appeared as bigger characters in the TV pilot but in the film should, in my opinion have been cut or altered in some way.
Mulholland Drive is a wonderful David Lynch, which could be seen as a darker, cleverer version of Blue Velvet. 5 Lynchs.