Words have failed me in attempting to describe this movie. I tried to write this review in early January, and here we are in late February and I am just now revisiting it. It probably doesn’t help that in that time span we have purchased and moved into our first house. We have lived in houses before obviously, but this is our house.
Anyway, onto the movie. Have you ever had a dream that freaked you out and left you gasping for breath as you rushed back to consciousness? When your loved ones come in the room to check if you are okay all you can say is I had a bad dream. Invariably they will ask what it was about, but we can’t say because 1) the dream is quickly retreating into our sub conscience, and 2) because no matter how well you explain what happened in the dream you sound psychotic. Mulholland Dr. is that creepy dream.
If you are not familiar with the works of David Lynch, I would recommend this movie as a good starting place. Also, the trailer doesn’t nearly do this film justice. The film and its core concept are too complex to boil down to a two-minute clip.
I like to compare it to music. If you’ve ever bought a song off iTunes because someone said that you would enjoy it; then analyzed the song and broke it down into all Its parts, you probably found that it wasn’t enjoyable at all. With that in mind, you have the sense of what it is like to convey the power of a film in which you can lose yourself. To truly enjoy it, you must surrender yourself to it. As Roger Ebert said, “If you require logic, see something else.”
David Lynch loves to make films which defy logic, but Mulholland Dr. follows no conventional plot structure, it simply ebbs and flows like a dream. I think it’s worth mentioning that this movie is an expanded version of an ABC television pilot. You thought Lost was confusing, I could imagine people cursing at their televisions in frustration as more questions arise with no answers in sight.
Also, this film features what I think should have been at the very least and Oscar Nominated performance by Naomi Watts. It would have been more deserved than Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball, and far more that Renée Zellweger for Bridget Jones’ DiaryNaomi Watts is engaging on both sides of the coin of her character. On one hand she is Betty, the perky and naïve, but very talented newcomer to Hollywood. On the other, she is Diane, the frustrated and depressed reality of the too-good-to-be-true Betty. She pulls this off so well that I didn’t realize that it was the same actress playing both parts until well into watching the film the first time. I’m still waiting for Ms. Watts to reach the climax of her career, she has made a number of good films, but nothing to set her apart from every other fair-skinned, blue-eyed, blonde in Hollywood.
I thin that this film displays the secular hope for redemption. Diane is so depressed and disappointed with her life that she elaborately constructs a dream-place where things have gone better for her. We all have regrets, failures, and things that we wish we could change. But the good news is that in Christ, the dream becomes reality. Not that all the bad things disappear when we have Jesus; but that when we have Jesus, we have the strength to endure reality, with the hope of a future redemption and glorification with Jesus.
Do yourself a favor, check out Mulholland Dr. set aside all the distractions and just let it wash over you. Then come back and give me all your theories about what is really going on. There are literally dozens of different theories. If you’ve already seen the movie, you can check them out at Mulholland-Drive.net. I think this film will be successful in creeping you out and will stick in your head for days.
Content warning for my more conservative readers. This film contains several disturbing and violent images as well as a few graphic scenes of topless women engaging in passionate kissing.