This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
J P’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This is my second viewing of David Lynch's masterpiece. The whole dream versus reality conversation is only tip of the iceberg. What's the most interesting aspect to me is deriving the psychological representations of Betty/Diane (Naomi Watts).
Lynch instructs us how to do this through multiple means of using similar images in both reality and the dream. The most obvious is by using the same actors to appear around emotional situations to show how the representation took place. Also on a simpler level he addresses the creation of the dreamworld by using continuing imagery (blue, name tags, locations like the restaurant). To go through each one would be a mighty task, but here are two examples as food for thought.
The elderly couple that are eerily happy when when Betty arrives in L.A. seem to represent the false hopes of L.A. This same elderly couple drives Diane to suicide. The reality of what happened could be many things, either the images being transposed onto the police or maybe they are just a representation of her guilt or fears. But no matter what the physical reality was, the symbolism of the elderly couple is the driving force towards her sad end.
The conspiracy plot line for Camille to be casted is clearly part of the dream world. I believe Lynch is showing how far the mind can go to explain the logic of failures. As an actress Betty/Diane explains how she met Camille. Camille got a part she wanted because the director didn't like her. Her mind, in order to lighten the pain, creates an elaborate logic to why the director didn't like her in the dream world. This would explain why there is a conspiracy and the strange characters throughout (mysterious guy behind the glass, person who doesn't like his espresso, and the mystifying cowboy."
A genius film that also contains a strong emotional story of lost love and jealously. There are few filmmakers that are able to split their films tonally with purpose in an effective way. Lynch has succeeded in that aspect here. Even the acting in the dream sequence has a very different flavor that the Naomi Watts performance is almost two entirely different styles. With a brilliant score, captivating performances, and a unique atmosphere, David Lynch did what the alchemist have always failed to do, he created pure gold.