This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Trudie’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
It's my birthday and I just got to see my favourite film in a cinema! Nice.
The day I first watched Mulholland Drive was the day my feelings about film as a medium changed. I was obsessed, and still am, with what was achieved and Lynch's mastery of subjectivity. It made me appreciate filmmaking on another level.
Lynch has talked about how he doesn't like to explain his films because in doing so he would be depriving the audience of their individual takes; it would be stealing away their personal analysis and replacing it with a singular meaning. His passion for this way of thinking has never been more clear than it is in this Hollywood horror.
Mulholland Drive is a hypnotic vision that goes deeper into the human psyche than I thought possible on screen. It puzzles, questions, and spins around until disoriented and dizzy. Confusing and beautiful, it's a masterpiece.
The film's intricate symbolism — the heartbreak, the violence because of it, and love being used to cover up a harsh reality —is a slow wake from a nightmare. All of it comes together and criss crosses until you're left with indescribable wonder.
The portrayal of naivety and innocence. The inability to cope with reality, lost love, and mistakes. Career failure and imagining circumstances in a different way only to have your fake haven come crumbling down and reveal a murky truth. The layers are never ending, and Naomi Watts in a revelatory performance helps stitch it together brilliantly.
The atmospheric tension had my heart beating out my chest. 10 minutes in and I was questioning my ability to breathe because that jump scare was coming up. It completely pulls you in. Mulholland Drive's absurdity and lack of boundaries make it one of the strangest movie experiences you'll ever have. More than that, it's intelligent and meaningful. A web with every strand connected and relating to something else.
The way it's shot, the expressions, and the constant haze and blur of what you're watching are sprinkled with such directorial individuality — it's scary but you can't take your eyes off it. Flashes of white and strong colours bring you even further into the illusion and when the walls start coming down it feels like it's not just Betty that's waking up, it's you too, and you're not sure if you want the dream to end.
The mysterious allure puts you in a trance and I noticed it so much more on the big screen, the music too. It's just as strange and fleeting as the insanity you're witnessing. Every moment is heightened and unpredictable. The oddity built throughout comes to an earth-shattering conclusion that's sad and frightening.
The club Silencio scene is perfection. Watching people in their theater seats staring back at me sitting in mine was a weird mirrored sensation that I can't quite explain. The emotion conveyed through a woman's painful singing making both the characters and us cry. It's a pulsing, sleepy kind of sad. That scene is one of the finest and most affecting ever. I don't think anything will ever hold me in its grasp like it did. It's so still/tranquil but feels like you're holding onto something for dear life. And it's representive of the film's main theme: the divide between fiction and reality, which seems to be less pronounced at this junction.
So, I've been ripped out of my life and thrown into a world of smoke screens and an affair gone wrong. Mulholland Drive is the best of what can be created in this art form and I owe a lot to it. It's a statement, and a bold one at that. Pure artistry without constraint. I don't know how Lynch does it, but nobody else can quite like him. It's like suffering a 3 hour long trip, but there's no other way I'd rather spend my time.