Scary Puffin’s review published on Letterboxd:
24/30: United States
"Don't play it for real until it gets real."
Mulholland Drive will hopefully never be figured out. To know every figure in a dream and why they matter or mattered to you, it does cross my mind from time to time. But some things seem better in their rougher, fuller version than in the micromanaged, thoroughly understood forms. And for a film to balance reality and dream states, it has to seem interpretable, but always fall deeper into complexity or abstraction. There shouldn't be an ultimate answer. Because dreams aren't always made to be solved.
And film is a deliberate form, so everything is to be seen as intentional on my part. So what, did David Lynch formulate these scenes nonsensically? Or is there legitimately a final purpose to Mulholland Drive? One that includes smaller scene interpretations and larger, overarching themes?
Maybe. But in thinking of Lynch's intentions is to lose out on the effect of his filmmaking. And for how sporadic his scene choices can be, they enhance that same effect to the point in which all of Mulholland Drive is like a dream in an especially vivid form.
It isn't the intention. It isn't the answer. It is the effect that Mulholland Drive has, which makes it work. The rest can be grasped, and Lynch always makes it vaguely visible, but honestly I hope for it never to be held by anyone but him, if even. A dream speaks to a fragmented part of your mind. If any film were to be so surreal and so sporadic as to match that, maybe Mulholland Drive would be my first candidate.
Cinema, in a nostalgic, bitter reflection, is just as willing to see it function as it is to see it break. Perhaps A Cottage on Dartmoor's infamous silent-to-sound scene is the best comparison. Acknowledging the beauty of artifice before having to watch it crash. And despite it being so dreamlike in style, I believe that to be the more intimate and emotionally honest style to address such a topic within. The minds of one or more people, veering insecurities through the lens and the roles of them or of others, always questioning what reality is and what it isn't.
And I guess if I were to find an answer from this film, it would be that dreams ARE a form of reality regardless, making none of Mulholland Drive distant from reality. It is, as said before, a reflection at its most distant (perhaps even at its closest too.) These are still emotions being felt or responses being had, even if they aren't happening directly or existing in the same way other scenes might. To run through the mind of a person or people would be to see these reflections in the midst of "reality", and as such I see them as a part to the final picture. One of humanity in the flood of artificiality. And considering Mulholland Drive is a film, that builds an irony to such an interpretation. Because none of it is reality. To get lost in the sea of artificiality, here at least, would be a layer deeper. But to acknowledge such a thought would still be dedicating your ideas, your dreams, to that same artificiality that those in Mulholland Drive get lost in to begin with. Is it the discovery of your role? The discovery that you are as much a character as the people you play? You are as much a dream as those who you know aren't real? And once you know it is a film you exist within, do those you imagine, who get scenes of themselves, become as much a function of reality as you? Does any of that matter if Mulholland Drive is a function of artificiality by nature of it being a film itself?
Questions, mind you. Not so much answers. And with every act of Lynch feeling as left-field as the last, it's fun for people like me to wonder what warranted this film existing besides the films we laud for their escapism, or their philosophy, or their humanity. Why does Mulholland Drive exist? We still don't really know. I like that we don't know. But I like thinking about it too.