Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive ★★

Rewatched this specifically to read ScreeningNotes' recent essay. This is my quick take on it. Heading over to that essay now.

Lynch’s Mulholland Drive — the television pilot turned feature film — starts of so, so awkward. It’s probably all intentional; some deeper meaning/relevancy behind it that I don’t get, but the acting… Not just wooden, more like straight-up watching concrete try to act. Again, it must be intentional, Watts is a good actresses (which she showcases later on in the film). I don’t know what to think of it, but I just don’t like watching it. The dialogues sound as if read from a printed script, and Betty’s awestruck glaring is obnoxious. This portion of the film does feature one of the best jump scares in movie history (gets me even when I know it’s coming), and the iconic meeting between Kesher and those mobsters, but other than that it leaves me cold honestly.

The acting lightens and loosens, quite abruptly, about a third of the movie in, and the story begins to follow a more linear path — or was I just no longer overwhelmed and getting used to it all? Anyways, here I am, at this point liking the next 45 to 60 minutes or so and, as a matter of fact, getting fairly hooked. It’s this stretch that features standout scenes like the one between Kesher and ‘The Cowboy’, and Betty’s audition. But then, just as sudden — even more so I’d say — act three kicks in, and things are back to weird again. I feel as if I got more out of the finale this time than on my first watch, like I had at least some grasp on what was going on with the story, but ultimately this left me only more frustrated with the ending than the total confusion of my first viewing did.

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