Monday, December 13, 2010

My review of Mulholland Drive

I don't get Lynch. I just don't get him. At the risk of sounding self absorbed, Anyone who knows me knows that I am no idiot when it comes to films. But I just do not get Lynch. maybe that's the point. I dunno. There were a few coherent plot points but they he turned around and made them not make sense anymore. Typical Lynch stuff really.having said that, the thing I like the most about Lynch is that his films are hard to understand. It gives great re-watch value to his films and it is a great break from the "plots" of films that have come out in recent years (where you can't figure them out because they are so amazingly stupid). It gives a uniqueness to him that few directors (if any) can match.

Acting/Characters: very well done. The performers did a very good job particularly Naomi Watts. But for a lot of the movie, the characters moved around as if in a dream. This is typical Lynch stuff and the actors did it very well. I enjoyed it. It takes a lot of talent to play characters like this and not only keep them interesting, but to still play them very well when everything has changed about them. Good stuff. 9/10

Plot: In terms of presentation of the plot: if you combine memento and Inception and throw in dashes of Eraserhead you will have this movie. But this one is far more coherent than Eraserhead. I'm still trying to figure out all of Eraserhead and I doubt I ever will. He made it that weird. But once I got to the end I could actually understand a lot of what happened. Not all of it of course, but most of it. I doubt if even Lynch fully understands what his movies are about. If I had to guess he just goes to bed every night and dreams the next scene. That's the thing about Lynch's films: they all have a very dreamlike quality to them. I kinda like that. You can go anywhere in a dreamlike world and Lynch understands that. 10/10

Screenplay: It goes along with everything else. It was really odd. But I feel that with Lynch films the dialogue is the least important aspect. It can be very important, but with films like this what you see is much more important than what you hear the people saying. But, it is often as incoherent as the rest of it all. 9/10

Likableness: I hope to see more Lynch films in the future. this film did nothing to make me want to stop seeing his films. I need to know if he made one that made sense. I doubt it, I highly doubt it. But if I see more maybe I'll understand. But I liked that this one had just enough coherency to the plot to keep you interested especially at the end where if you had been paying attention (which is absolutely vital in a film of his. you blank out for a few minutes and you are done) you began to understand the rest of the film. I enjoyed this one a lot. It wasn't as confusing as Eraserhead, it didn't completely click at the end like Memento, but it was good. 9/10

Final Score: 37/40 92% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Cameos
a. Angelo Badalamenti the soundtrack composer appears as the espresso-drinking movie exec at the beginning of the film.
b. Cori Glazer the script supervisor is playing the blue-haired lady.
c. Charles Croughwell the stunt coordinator is playing the vacuum man.

2. Originally filmed in 1999 on a budget of $8 million as a made-for-TV pilot, new scenes were filmed one year later on a $7 million budget given by the French film studio Studio Canal to wrap up the open ending which had been left unresolved in the original version so that a TV series could follow.
David Lynch initially resisted Studio Canal's offer to provide additional funds to complete the TV pilot as a feature film. Lynch's battles with ABC network executives had left him with a negative feeling about the project and the director felt he had run out of ideas for the storyline. When Lynch finally agreed to revisit the film, much to his horror he found that all the sets had been destroyed, and all of the costumes and props had been released by ABC (normally all sets, props and costumes for a possible TV series are carefully cataloged and stored for future use). Lynch claims this setback actually proved a blessing in disguise, however, when it finally generated new ideas about how to proceed with filming, and the director was able to come up with a satisfying conclusion to the story.

3. When Rita and Betty go to the Sierra Bonita apartment complex, the name next to #17 is L.J. DeRosa - a member of the art department on the film, Laura J. DeRosa.

4. David Lynch's 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller: - Pay particular attention in the beginning of the film: at least two clues are revealed before the credits. - Notice appearances of the red lampshade. - Can you hear the title of the film that Adam Kesher is auditioning actresses for? Is it mentioned again? - An accident is a terrible event... notice the location of the accident. - Who gives a key, and why? - Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup. - What is felt, realized and gathered at the club Silencio? - Did talent alone help Camilla? - Notice the occurrences surrounding the man behind Winkies. - Where is Aunt Ruth?

5. The film is dedicated to Jennifer Syme, a young actress whose story is startlingly similar to that of the character of Betty - but who in fact died after the bulk of the film was completed.

6. Adam Kesher smashing the producers' car windshield in with a golf club is a reference to the famous 1994 incident where Jack Nicholson did the same. Nicholson's nickname is "Mulholland Man".

7. The Cowboy has no eyebrows. This was done to give the character a more subtle, disturbing appearance.

8. Rebekah Del Rio (the singer at Club Silencio) first met David Lynch when a talent agent took her, on a whim, to a recording studio where Lynch happened to be and asked her to sing a song for him. She performed an impromptu version of "Llorando" which, also on a whim (and without her knowledge) was being taped by the audio engineer. Years later, Lynch decided to incorporate the song into "Mullholland Dr."; except for a few minor tweaks, this is the exact same recording used in the movie.

9. The Region 1 DVD of the movie does not feature "chapters"; attempting to "skip" to the next scene or chapter takes you to the "DVD" logo animation at the very end of the movie after all the credits and ratings and so forth. Director David Lynch requested this himself, as he has done on previous releases, such as The Straight Story. By allowing the film to be on one chapter, Lynch believes people will be more inclined to view the feature in one sitting, as intended. Robert Zemeckis also used this idea on his laserdisc release of Forrest Gump.


  1. I liked it too. It was confusing but great too. Nice review Naseby, great job!

  2. Great review,

    I gave up trying to understand Lynch's recent films (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire) , they are just crazy!
    But his other work is nowhere near as complex and I much prefer it, like Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, The Straight Story, Wild At Heart....
    Anyway, he's a talented and original director although I think he might be slightly insane...

    Great work man!

  3. Excellent excellent review, i havent seen this so i can't fully appreciate its unique abstractness (on par with Eraserhead which was very much so). But i think that is part of the appeal of the film, we assume everything has a single meaning but many times that doesn't hold true. Our inability to answer the questions we have drives us crazy , leading us to greater appreciate whatever medium.

    I want to see this now haha. cool blog, these things are awesome

  4. Mulholland Drive is in fact really simple. It's just a puzzle with two pieces changed. The first part of the film is the dream of the blonde girl named Diane. (In fact, we see a person going to sleep at the beginning of the film). So, this first part only finish when we get inside the blue box, inside the mistery. Then, we see reality in the second and "strangest" part of the film: Diane came from Ontario to Hollywood after winning a dance contest (Before the person goes to sleep we see that contest). She falls in love with a brunette that dropped her for the fiilm director. Diane pays a killer to get rid of her, but when he does it she feels guilty and shot herself. Just before that she goes to sleep and dreams how she would like things were to her. So, in that dream, in the first part of the film, everything is perfect to Diane. We know her idealized as a great actress with a great future just arrived to Hollywood. We see the efficient killer as a complete disaster. We see the film director suffering. We see the man who had the dream in the back of the dinner dying because he saw her paying the killer in the second part of the film. But the most important thing of the film is that she becomes the person she most desires in the world, she becomes the brunette, Rita. Rita, in the dream is, in fact, Diane. That's why she,we, have to discover who she is, that's whiy she's carrying the blue key and the money to pay the killer. That's why she scares a lot when she sees the dead girl in her appartment (because it's her) and that's why Betty (she as an angel idealized) puts a blonde wig on her, because she is Diane. So, when they arrived to the Silencio club she finally discovers that everything is an illusion, as they repeat again and again in the show, everything is recorded, like in movies or dreams.

  5. I have heard the explanation since I saw the film. Even with the knowledge of what it is about, it's still a mindf*** film.

  6. the fact that you're so confused by Mulholland Drive proves that you just have no frame of reference for who David Lynch is and what he does. Obviously, Lynch films aren't Pixar movies, you should try thinking a little harder

  7. No, no, no you misunderstand me. I know full well what he does as I have seen a lot of Lynch (Eraserhead is probably my favorite Lynch film). I suppose what I am getting at is that the fact that I do have to think really hard about what he may be saying is what I like the most about him. Maybe I didn't get that across very well...