Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive ★★★★★

"No hay banda!"

Everyone was so right about this. It's amazing. I'm just fresh off watching it and I don't know what I've just seen but I'm going to attempt to say some things about this experience (I'll try to be as coherent as one can be after watching a David Lynch movie).

In Mulholland Drive, David Lynch blurs the line between reality and fantasy. The thing is, as a member of the audience, all you can do is try to guess where the dream (or nightmare?) starts and where it ends. That's just assuming that Lynch is in fact dealing with reality and fantasy. It's very possible that he isn't. This brings me to my next point about the film. What makes it so special is that it invites the audience to participate in the experience. We all interpret the events in our own unique way. This makes the movie even more special in that the viewer (perhaps I should speak for myself?) might never fully comprehend the situation. This fuels more discussion and thought, which I always welcome.

Mulholland Drive is a sensory experience, and sound is very important here. The film opens with an interesting 'jitterjug' dance sequence accompanied by an uptempo, Big Band-y cue from Angelo Badalamenti's score. The rest of Badalamenti's score is tense and suspensful: the complete opposite of that first piece. The music is very much a part of the the fabric of the film. Sound design, in general, is crucial too and I did notice in the credits that David Lynch himself was credited with "Sound Design". It works.

There's something else that makes Mulholland Drive so special even though it was not intentional. David Lynch shot the 'film' as a 90-minute pilot which was then abandoned by ABC. After this, Studiocanal revived the project and Lynch was able to complete the project as a feature-length film. It's an amalgam of the television pilot and the feature film as we know them to be. It just feels different. For this reason, I see this work as not just a film but an 'experience' (much like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lynch's own Eraserhead).

The identities of the characters Betty/Diane (Naomi Watts) and Rita/Camilla (Laura Herring) are a puzzle on their own. Throughout the film we meet other characters too. Some didn't seem to hold much significance but as I saw when I got to the last part of the movie, there is so much more than meets the eye. Whatever questions we have aren't so much answered as ignored.

When we meet Betty at the beginning, she is a fresh faced actress-to-be who doesn't bother hiding her optimism. Having arrived in Hollywood, she's convinced that she's in the land of opportunity where sweet dreams come true. Shadows are cast over that optimism when she sees a different side of LA.
I do have to single out the scene at Club Silencio as one of the greatest things ever put on celluloid. I still have a very clear memory of how I felt during that scene. It was a feeling of gratitude. I was grateful to Lynch that he would take the time to craft that moment the way he did for the world to see.

Mulholland Drive is a little blue box just begging to be opened again and again. A classic.

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