As a David Lynch-fan, I had no choice but to eventually give Mulholland Drive a watch, since it, after all is commonly referred to as Lynch’s greatest film. Do I agree?
I would be lying if I said that I understand the movie. As with most Lynch-films, it’s no child’s play to figure out which of the things that happen in the film are real and which are hallucinations or twisted dreams, let alone the chronological order of the scenes. Lynch’s movies are more often than not confusing and/or incomprihensible, but not all of them seem to make any sense in the end – this one strangely does, even if I can’t figure it out myself.
It opens as a confused brunette woman (Laura Herring) is held at gunpoint in a car, but fortunately for her, a car crash occurs, she being the sole survivor. She runs away, apparently having lost her memory, from the crash-site and sneaks into the home of Hollywood-actress Betty Elms (Naomi Watts); the two women make friends and Betty promises to help Rita – which is what the woman decides to call herself, after Rita Hayworth – to discover her true identity.
We also see a man in a diner, telling another man about his grotesque nightmares, which apprently took place in the diner. Not much later, we see what appears to be a gang of mobsters, insisting that Hollywood-director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) casts a woman named Rhodes – who may or may not actually be Rita – in his next motion picture. That’s basically the premise; Betty Elms attempts to help Rita discover who she really is, while also getting her own career started, all while in the meantime practically all of the other characters in the movie work to get Adam Kesher to cast this Rhodes person in his next film. And as the film progresses it gets more and more beautifully bizarre and we’re not even sure who’s who anymore, eventually!
Now, I’m not here to tell you what I think the movie is actually trying to say, or how I interpret all the really weird scenes. I’m just here to tell you how I liked the film, and I liked it a lot.
Lynch did well here, I think. Had I seen all his movies in the order in which they were made, I’d say that Eraserhead and The Elephant Man made me a fan, he lost me with Dune, tried to win me back with Blue Velvet, failed due to Wild at Heart and Lost Highway and then finally he won be back with Mulholland Drive.
The characters, the dialogue and the story – all very good writing; I liked the actors, the cinematography and the music; I enjoyed the creepy scenes (usual for a Lynch-movie) as well as the funny ones (not so usual for a Lynch-movie). Sure, I didn’t think much of it as it was getting started but towards the end, when it got especially surreal, that’s when I realised that this is, indeed, one of his greatest films. I do agree.
Can one make sense out of the movie? I haven’t attempted it myself, though I believe it’s possible.