joshhh’s review published on Letterboxd:
FILM #31 OF THE HALLOWEEN MOVIE MARATHON
I was actually excited to watch this after how much I enjoyed Lost Highway. It's often regarded as one of, if not the, best films of the 21st century. That was a big claim for what I perceived as a fairly divided movie with people. But, I kept my expectations low and sat down to watch it.
I can not even begin to tackle this movie. A review isn't enough to make up for the kind of filmmaking David Lynch has given us. At first, I was lukewarm on Lynch. I've stated my opinions on Eraserhead, and I couldn't judge him on The Elephant Man because that's a very different movie than what he usually makes. But this movie proved to me that Lynch is one of the finest working directors.
Everything about this is excellent. Honestly. I can't find anything wrong with it. The direction is some of the best I've seen and the acting is phenomenal. Both the actors and director work together to paint a beautiful, and horrifying, portrait of Hollywood. Naomi Watts and Laura Harring are fantastic and have amazing chemistry. I often don't touch on this particular element, but the composition is excellent too. Lynch knows exactly where to place actors, based on who the character is.
I was actually disturbed at many points in the movie. While Lost Highway was effective in it's eerie atmosphere, this is a whole different level. You never feel safe, even when Watts's energetic character is exploring a house in wonder. It's perfect. It may not always be a fun experience, but this is one I would recommend to any film fan. Lynch also knows how to play with expectations. We Watts's character as an innocent, and almost flat character, with no real depth and dreams of being a star. But the audition scene (the best scene of the movie) completely twists the audience's expectations and does something amazing with them.
I believe I've come to a solid interpretation for my first viewing. I perceive this film as Lynch continuing his criticism of Hollywood, with themes carrying over from Lost Highway. I believe that film is supposed to represent the ideals Hollywood promises. Come to the town, be a star, be rich and famous. This is why there is a character change in the middle of the movie, paralleling what you come to Hollywood as and what you become. However I see Mulholland Drive as an interpretation of what actually happens. While the lifestyle portrayed in this film is similar to the glamor of stars in the 30s and 40s, it actually delves into the corruption that lies behind Hollywood. In fact, there is a plot point about a man's career being destroyed because he did not do something a studio cared for. This is better represented in the difference between the two main characters for a majority of the movie, one being a naive and innocent young aspiring actress and the other being a woman torn apart by her environment and business.
And look, those are just my first thoughts. I haven't even begun to delve into the meaning behind Club Silencio.
Mulholland Drive is the perfect blend of complex drama and the foreboding sense of dread. It's an experience, nothing I've ever seen before. I can't recommend this one higher, so I'm giving it a: 10/10