Sunday, 5 May 2013
Mulholland Drive (2001) - ★★★★★
Writer: David Lynch
Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Monty Montgomery, Mark Pellegrino
Mulholland Drive is a wild and wickedly entertaining movie! The first time I saw this film, my exact words were, "What the f*** just happened?" I got the gist of what had transpired, but I couldn't connect many of the angles in the story. So I looked up the explanation, breathed a sigh of relief and understood much of what I had seen. Today I saw this movie for the second time with the explanation in mind. All I have to say is, what a masterpiece.
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman (Laura Harring) amnesic, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful, Betty (Naomi Watts), search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. It's a very complicated story, so I trust that anyone who has seen the movie will forgive me for simplifying the plot a bit.
It really is a clever, clever movie. Once you know what's happening, you're taken on one of the most intriguing and surreal adventures in this history of cinema. Movies like Memento (2000) are similar to Mulholland Dr. yet I think David Lynch has taken it to a whole new level with this film. This is what I used to think: "If a movie cannot explain what has happened upon the first viewing, then it hasn't done its job." This film completely changed my outlook, because although I didn't enjoy myself upon the first viewing, I had the time of my life seeing it a second time.
Everything about this movie screams surreal and artistic. From the very first scene, it's like you're entering a dream. The score by Angelo Badalamenti is absolutely haunting, always keeping the suspense and intrigue alive. My absolute favourite scene in the movie would have to be when the two women are sitting in the theater, listening to a Spanish rendition of the song "Crying" by Roy Orbison. I got chills all the way up my spine, I'd never heard anything so beautiful.
Naomi Watts gave a masterful performance as a kind and gentle aspiring actress. Then she transitions into a dark, twisted, vulnerable and spiteful character. The way she quivered when she cried was extremely unsettling. You felt sorry for her in the end, all thanks to Watts and her world-class performance. Personally, I would have given her the Best Actress Oscar for 2001. Laura Harring was brilliant as a supporting actress, playing a sweet and vulnerable young woman at the start. They both had marvelous chemistry in this movie with some of the steamiest scenes you'll ever see.
I believe this is a perfect film. It was created in writer/director David Lynch's vision as both a sweet dream and a dark nightmare. The main reason the film drew me in was because everything gelled together perfectly. All of the characters, dialogue and scenes just fit so well that it was entertaining even when you couldn't fully understand them. It reminds me a lot of Pulp Fiction (1994), but more surreal. Like Roger Ebert said, "If you require logic, see something else." I understand why some people didn't like Mulholland Dr. on the first viewing, I was one of them. Just read a quick explanation, watch it again, and hopefully you'll find this movie as mind blowing as I did.