Elijah Valter’s review published on Letterboxd:
in five days, i'm loading up my 2000 ford explorer with most of my belongings, leaving my current home on the east coast, and driving 2,121 miles across the country to my final destination of valencia, california. 29 minutes away from mulholland drive. in five days, i'm leaving behind any sense of stability and comfort to begin my training at one of the nation's top acting conservatories, right in the heart of the film industry that i've wanted to devote my life to for so long. in five days, i'll be betty/diane.
maybe mulholland drive should scare me. i should probably be terrified of the excessively powerful men sitting stoically underground, pulling strings and making decisions that control the passions of the less important artists above that are struggling to convey their visions. the city's corrupt and filthy underbelly, prepared to jump out and attack from behind every shady corner, crafting every possibility for my potential demise, should probably made me shudder with fear. mulholland drive should scare me. it doesn't.
yes, david lynch's magnum opus is 20% complete tragedy. diane's horrible fate is hard to watch. her talented, ambitious, and hopeful beginnings crumble around her as she's swallowed up by the evil presence that exists in los angeles. 20% pain, heartbreak, and regret.
that being said, the other 80% is a dreamland, and if there's one thing that mulholland drive and the rest of lynch's filmography has taught me, it's that dreams don't have to exist purely inside the imagination. these surreal meditative visions can play out right alongside reality. diane is no more real, no more human than betty. they are one and the same. the nightmare lives within the dream, and the dream lives within the nightmare. i'm not frightened by mulholland drive. i'm energized.