Mulholland Drive (R)

8 Stars

This blue box has no bow.

Yes, my Proverbial Audience, if you watch Mulholland Drive, expect no packaged narratives.

It’s been about an hour, and the thought wheels are still rolling on this one, which is always a good sign.

There’s only one question to ask.

Are you willing to take the half hour afterward to find out what you saw?

If the answer’s no, rethink this one.

That being said, there are probably fans out there who’ve never looked into interpretations of the plot. I couldn’t live with myself, but there must be.

I’m alluding to the disjointed narrative woven through David Lynch’s writing and directing. His use of different shooting styles and camera angles is pretty amazing.

For some reason it has a very 90’s feel to it, despite its theatrical release in 2001.

The film runs a little too long and is thoroughly confusing. It’s not ‘intentional obfuscation for the sole purpose of confusing the audience.’ That’s misleading, and I don’t think it happens all that often.

For years, I would have argued the pointlessness in the ending of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I still contend that it’s an overall bore, and the dull slog is not worth the thoughtful and rather brilliant implications of the ending. It’s perplexing as all get out, but now that I’ve read about what Stanley was going for, I can appreciate the virtue of his intent.

Although I’m not a big fan of Blue Velvet, I appreciate what Lynch tries to do in his movies.

Even after understanding the common interpretations of the plot, there still remains a feeling like something’s missing. It’s very similar to how I felt after Blue Velvet, but my preference lies with Mulholland Drive.

MD was originally conceived as a television show, and this is where much of the plot falls apart. Lynch had to compact a narrative intended for an entire season into a feature film. Many question whether the final film can be classified as a complete narrative.

I wish I could answer that question. I’m not sure and have done too much research already. Perhaps I’ll get back on that some day.

I had to have the answer, and felt satisfied by it. I’m not necessarily ecstatic about the explanation but it works, and it’s fine; an original idea at the very least. I found the plot development compelling regardless.

Hey, I got a thing for elaborate high-stakes storytelling. I find it thought provoking and puzzling. I enjoy the whirlwind of disjointed moments, the coil and release of the tension spring.

I adore the chase for comprehension, the errant cuts, the inexplicable in the real, the terror and indecision. Keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat certainly counts for something.

Mulholland, I find, is reminiscent of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts from 1993. Except not nearly as boring.

It gives off a bit of a Pulp Fiction vibe (particularly in terms of the disjointed narrative).

I’m also reminded of Sharon Stone’s character in Basic Instinct with Laura Harring’s role as Rita. They’re both portraits of the typical femme fatale who sexually prey on their victims.

Naomi Watts is great in MD; she’s playing a difficult role here and executes it convincingly. Really, I mean, this is some tough stuff!

Overall, I enjoy Mulholland Drive. It’s ghostly, ethereal and compelling. The material’s gritty and tense, but befuddling.

Despite the incomplete narrative, Lynch offers his audience a thought provoking experience unlike any other.

Nonetheless, the story is mysterious and enticing, and if you like movies it’s worth a shot.

I’m finishing this review the following morning, and still thinking about it.

What does that say about the film as a whole?

Thoughts, perchance?

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