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Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Mulholland Drive

Beware what you dream for...

Starring:

Ann Miller

Billy Ray Cyrus

Brent Briscoe

Chad Everett

Dan Hedaya

James Karen

Justin Theroux

Katharine Towne

Laura HarringLaura Harring

Lee Grant

Lori Heuring

Naomi WattsNaomi Watts

Rita Taggart

Robert Forster

Scott Coffey

Directed by:

David Lynch

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 147 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: France, United States

Rather belatedly, I saw Mulholland Drive for the first time last night and, to be honest, I’m still a bit flummoxed.

Mulholland Drive follows Betty, a bright-eyed new arrival to Los Angeles. Upon entering her aunt’s empty apartment for the first time she encounters Rita, who has just been involved in a car crash and is leisurely taking a shower in a stranger’s apartment. Rather than calling the police and hitting her over the head with a lampshade, Betty finds out that this woman has amnesia and resolves to help her find out the truth about herself. However, as things begin to get very weird, it gets more difficult to tell if everything we are seeing is actually real.

I’m not going to pretend like I understand exactly what happens in this film or even in what order events take place – for that you will need quite a few repeat viewings. David Lynch has constructed a deliberately ambiguous, complex plot that is very open to each member of the audience’s own opinion. But is it really worth watching and trying to figure these things out? This is where it divides opinion. On one hand, Mulholland Drive is a typical Lynch film full of surrealism, symbolism and subtlety, and has a very atmospheric score to tie things together. It really is engaging and it’s impossible, and unwise, to take your eyes off the screen for a second. If this is your thing then it’s definitely worth a watch – even if it will cause you to have a mild stroke.

On the other hand, it’s definitely not one for a casual watch.  You may just find yourself at the end thinking that this was an over-complicated, over-contrived movie with a messy plot and some bits that are too strange for comfort. You may just think – what was the point of the whole thing?

I enjoyed it – well, I think I did – but this is one review with me sitting completely on the fence.

It's Got: Monobrows, lesbians!, an atmospheric score

It Needs: A PhD to work out the plot, your full attention

DVD Extras Just a trailer and a 'David Lynch's ten clues to unlocking this thriller' booklet which is no easier to follow than the film itself and seems a little self-congratulatory DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

Inland Empire, Jacob's Ladder, Pulp Fiction

Summary

Still recovering from the mild stroke I suffered whilst watching this very complex thriller from master-of-that-kind-of-thing David Lynch. An excellent movie if you give it your full attention.

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