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Mulholland Drive

Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Dan Heyada, Ann Miller, and Robert Forster
Direceted/written By: David Lynch
Rated: R

 

 

Mulholland Drive is a bit of pompous quazi-dream dribble. Why the three stars then if I found it ludicrous and pretentious? It's still quite brilliant. The story-and I use that in its most elementary think a-mad-man-given-a-laptop style, is way out there. Doppelgangers and personality duos that meet, collide and drift…I think.

The whole thing is terribly confusing and will you'll be up for discussions well into the wee hours - a very good sign for a film. The acting by the principles, Naomi Watts (playing Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn) and Laura Harring (playing Rita/Camilla Rhodes) is incredible, if sometimes a bit over-dramatic as orchestrated by Lynch.

Mulholland is a creepy, surreal, world that provides no sympathy or cuddling for your brain's more logical side. The whole film is as if your watching someone who's filmed a dream they had that's loosly scripted. It is beautifully lucid but at the same time annoyingly pompous in a "look how clever I am" way and you yourself may be a tad mad if it actually makes sense to you…

The attempt at a story goes, Betty (Naomi Watts), an all-American actress, arrives in Hollywood starry eyed and filled with hope at becoming a big acting sensation. She meets and helps out another gal Rita (Laura Harring) who seems to be on the lamb (hiding-out) from really bad folks. Rita is also riddled with a bad case full-blown amnesia. In a ridiculously unbelievable scene Betty allows this stranger to move in with her while they discover what it is she forgot - which they never do.

Another story running along side of the two women is a fellow who feels something awful is going to happen at a restaurant at a certain time. It seems to- but not as he thought - I think.

Yet another is about a hipper-than-thou complete with the Soderbergh glasses director, Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) who has pissed of his investors (one is Dan Heyada) and gets a meeting with a bad man. He's warned to do the film as they wish, with the cast they want or else. Clearly Lynch exorcising some demons for the "biz." Hollywood's less-than-kind side is definitely darkly portrayed here. Lynch is relentless in all the gloom and doom scenarios and broken dreams his obviously disillusioned and seemingly bitter mind can muster up.

Not everyone will enjoy this — as I said, I didn't quite frankly. But, I still say "WOW." The characters are so intriquing, the scenes or the "parts" shot like a carnival ride for the mind. It's just these parts never do neatly come together and feed me the satisfaction of plot and an "ah-ha, that's what it's about."

It's not for the "I want a beginning, middle and end with defined villains and hero's" sorts, either. I don't mean that insulting in the least. I am being honest. It's not even my cup of tea. I loved Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986), but again to this day I am not sure what its point was - or if there even was a point. I just loved the acting and often (often) think of its more famous scenes; Dennis Hopper sniffing ether in one of the most terrifying scenes ever filmed with Isabella Rosellini as he "comes on to her." Or Dean Stockwell singing Roy Orbison's Candy Colored Clown- these two scenes alone made it a must have DVD. Mulholland Drive is the same; art house bubbaloo that will have you whacking your head as to what the hell it was about- but yet still you'll find the bits that are madly sewn together intriguing to say the least.

Blunt Warning: There are some gratuitously long sex scenes that seemed to go on for eight hours, but that's Director David Lynch's self-indulgent style. Think Oliver Stone on mushrooms and being allowed to film his every whim…That's Mulholland Drive.

Snack Recommendation: Diner food


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