Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive ★★★★★

The mind of David Lynch is a glorious thing indeed and in Mulholland Drive (famously a failed TV pilot which warped into a feature film), he has created a film of exquisite profundity, a dreamlike fairytale with no happy ending and a piece of art that withstands multiple viewings. Yes I do love this film and it continues to reward with each viewing.

While Lynch might have a unique vision, he's not above paying homage to cinema history and in this film, there are clear echoes to two other great films, Bergman's Persona and Hitchcock's Vertigo. The film's plot hinges on identity and he has elicited wonderful work from his leads, Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts who bring this notion to life. The film is a puzzle but it isn't wilfully obtuse - the clues are there for the intrepid viewer and any initial frustration in not cracking the code is more than compensated for by the beauty of the film (the Lynchian colour palette of reds and blues very much to the fore), its haunting Badalamenti score and a supporting cast of characters playing up to the material in front of them - Justin Theroux, Lynch regular Michael J Anderson, a delightful and slightly sinister Ann Miller and a fantastic Dan Hedaya cameo. And the scene in Club Silencio is a thing of beauty just on its own.

One wonders and what might have happened if this had made it to a full TV series but then Twin Peaks, which had a similarly startling pilot, found itself with diminishing returns as Lynch moved away from the series so perhaps we can be thankful that it stands as an ongoing testament to the genius of this great director.

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