In 2001, David Lynch (director of Dune and creator of Twin Peaks) released a complex mystery film that defied the genre rules and mystified audiences. So what's it all about?
The film stars Naomi Watts, in an outstanding performance, as a seemingly naïve and innocent young actress who stumbles upon a car crash victim with amnesia, played by Laura Elena Harring. The two befriend one another and begin to search for clues to the haunted woman's past. Meanwhile a rebellious young director, played by Justin Theroux, is being told who to recast as the female lead in his next film but when he refuses, strange things begin to happen. Before long their lives cross paths and all who encounter them are affected.
The film unfolds into a delirium of complex schemes, startling eroticism and complete insanity. But it keeps its viewers interested, though it never truly explains itself. Many people have attempted to unravel the film's meaning (there are quite a few interesting theories suggested by other film critics). Some say that it's about the dream of a psychotic woman on the verge of committing suicide. Others say it's an allegory for the corruptive nature of the Hollywood lifestyle. There have even been some who feel that the whole film is just an epic mindfuck, which wouldn't be that surprising coming from an iconoclast like David Lynch. But what is surprising is that most people will admit that they don't fully understand it, and yet they can't get enough of it. Perhaps its popularity can be attributed to the complex plot, or the brilliant acting, or maybe the combined innocence and raw sesuality of Naomi Watts' performance. Whatever the appeal may be, there's no doubt about it, Mulholland Dr. is a provocative, titillating and mesmerizing trip that you have to experience for yourself. Maybe even more than once.
**** out of **** After one has seen David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive", the word "Silencio" has become one of the most haunting words in cinema since those spoken by Marlon Brando ("The horror...the horror") in "Apocalypse Now". It might be an irrelevant comparison overall, but both are films that linger in the corners of our minds. Both are less than conventional even if Lynch exists more on his own terms than Francis Ford Coppola ever did (although he is a fine filmmaker; … more
I'll admit that this is my first time watching a David Lynch film, but Mulholland Dr. blew me away. While this film certainly benefits in having an edge-to-your-seat gripping storyline and compelling characters, the ultimate strength in this film lies in Lynch's refusal to explain the movie, which allows us to create our own ways of fleshing out what really happens and what the film really means. The only thing that may turn off … more
David Lynch has crafted a very clever thriller that's so unusually sequenced that you are thoroughly confused at the end of watching the film. The DVD has minimal bonus material and no commentary. It does provide some clues in the DVD liner to help you figure out what the meaning of everything in the movie is and the sequence of what actually happened. This is a truly challenging thriller that has a lot of darkness and foreboding. There are some lesbian sex scenes and a very impressive performance … more
Pandora couldn't resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let's just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, "a love story in the city of dreams," Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film's first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before we've become enthralled by the film's two main characters: the dazed and sullen femme fatale, Rita (Laura Elena Harring), and the pert blonde just-arrived from Ontario (played exquisitely by Naomi Watts) who decides to help Rita regain her memory. Triggered by a rapturous Spanish-language version of Roy Orbison's "Crying," Lynch's best film since Blue Velvet splits glowingly into two equally compelling parts.--Fionn Meade