This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brian’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
While Letterboxd’s records will indicate this is the first time I’ve watched this, in reality this is at least the fourth time I’ve watched this movie in the last five months. I have been resistant to logging it for a simple reason - I do not understand it. I do not know what is going on with the key and the box or the club or, most of all, that random thing behind the diner. I thought that in order to properly log this, I would have to attain some understanding of the narrative, and thus I continued to try and rewatch this, hoping that some comprehension would come. This comprehension I longed for in part because of how highly a dear friend of mine, Grayson, values this movie. But on this fourth rewatch, I at long last must admit that the understanding will never come, and so I’m left to be befuddled probably in the same way that I am confused by a movie that I think it’s at least partially echoing, Persona.
There is a lot to say about this movie, and I honestly am not the person to say it. But nevertheless, I find myself writing the following - the first part of this, and by that I mean everything prior to the opening of the box, feels so overacted that it’s obviously purposely done so. I have come to the conclusion that this is because it’s all a fantasy sequence - whether a dream or daydream, none of it is real, but is instead the fond wish of Naomi Watts’s Betty (or Diane?) who sees her life as she wishes it to be, and that is as an overacted movie. I personally think the second half of this, which seems to dispense with all of the overacting, is reality, and it’s a harsh one for Betty (or Diane). But beyond that, I really can’t tell you what this movie is (whatever that thing is behind the diner will haunt me for its appearance and it’s seeming lack of utility in the movie while still feeling enormously significant).
Also, what is going on with the hitman and the little black book? That scene is so funny and yet I have no idea what it was there for. Ugh, David Lynch, you frustrate me!
On a whole, if it’s not apparent already, I did not get this. I really wanted to. I really tried. But in the end, Mulholland Drive has bested me, and I really can’t say that’s a bad thing - it’s clearly a movie with a lot on its mind, and I have made my peace with the fact that I will never be able to wrap my arms around it.