Plot – After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality – Mulholland Drive.
Director – David Lynch
Released – 2001
Mulholland Drive clearly appeals to aficionados of David Lynch’s previous work, but for those of us who merely liked his movies (The Elephant Man an exception), this movie feels like a wasted opportunity and worst a thoroughly incomprehensible mess. Not only blurring the line between reality and fantasy, but demolishing it.
For roughly two-thirds of the film, the evenings and plot make enough sense that you’re willing to go along with some weird elements. Then you’re hit with something that makes the movie go completely off the rails. Lynch did this intentionally, I’m sure. Now, this isn’t to say, enjoyed isn’t to be found in the film. I got swept away in the beautiful dream-like atmosphere, while the two leads Betty (Watts) and Rita (Harring) felt sincere.
Their relationship was convincing enough that the twist in the plot took me completely by surprise. There are just too many missing pieces and loose threads left unanswered, that you quickly start picking fault with the movie, especially when compared to the much superior Lost Highway, which just like Mulholland Drive, left subtle clues for the viewer to create an explanation for the events on screen. Lost Highway just did it better, with a similar atmosphere. Here the goosebumps were missing. I just felt dreamily entertained for two-and-a-half hours.
As it is, I enjoyed the whole hypnotic and surrealistic feeling that the movie produced and the performances (especially Naomi Watts’), but Lynch’s deliberate choice to forgo any form of coherent story made me quickly lose interest, which is a shame because the underlying story of two souls destined not to end up together is really moving and deserved to be told.
If you liked: Fight Club, The Number 23, Identity