Mulholland Drive ★★★★

Who wants to have their patience be tested and challenged? Raise your hand. If you did, then this movie is for you. If not, then don’t blame me -- I warned you.

For the devotee of David Lynch films, this may be easy to decode. If you study his films, then you know they are filled with symbolism and metaphors. I must admit I’ve only seen Eraserhead, and that was incomprehensible to me as an average movie watcher. Also, if you’re an avid MCU comics or action flick fan, this probably won’t click with you.

Mulholland Drive is about a young pretty woman who just arrived in Hollywood, Diane/Betty (Naomi Watts), a brunette Rita/Camilla (Laura Harring) with amnesia loaded with a suspicious history, and a filmmaker (Justin Theroux).

In keeping with its dream-like setting, its story seemingly evolves constantly in an intricate manner like a maze, and the only constant fixtures I see are: symbolism and metaphors, longing and paranoia.

Much more than a puzzle to be decoded, Mulholland Drive takes as its main goal for the viewers the very act of dismantling a paradox; enjoyable at times yet problematic, necessary yet bizarre way of drawing sense, of searching for meaning. If you are in this category, then you’ll enjoy it. If you are not, then watching this movie could frustrate you or make you feel that you’ve wasted your time.

The movie is 2.5 hours long, but the first 2hr is a dream, and only the last 30 mins is reality. There, that’s the one-liner clue for a bit of guidance.

Diane’s mind is a clash and an emotional mess. The dream part of the film helps explain the emotions that led to Diane being so traumatized by Camilla’s actions, while the “real” life ending shows how things actually played out. The rest is mainly filled with symbolism.

I am giving it 4 stars because of the fact that David Lynch’s ingenuity is on full gear display here for everyone to admire and see (and solve!). I don’t know how one could draw such artistry and finesse in the field of cinema. That is if you are into the artistic aspect of it. I categorize it as cinematic work of art. For its narrative level, I have difficulty understanding it. For its art, yes, I definitely get it. The cinematography is just sublime especially for the dreamlike ambience.

You may have to do some soul-searching at the end for you to gain insight to this movie. Please don’t ask me for explanations. Any Lynch fans here, I invite you to share your opinions. It would be a welcome comment for sure.

Watch and be puzzled forever.

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