Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Reinforcing the average man's unrealistic image of lesbians since 2001.

Watching Mulholland Dr. and M*A*S*H in the same week really throws a person for a loop. Both films lack a discernible plot, but they couldn't be further from each thematically. Maybe it's just as simple as the thematic difference, but the most important thing to note is that Mulholland Dr. works and M*A*S*H doesn't. It's not even hard to see why it work. Mulholland Dr. has drama, action and tension that keeps you involved even when it doesn't make an ounce of narrative sense. It succeeds on the most basic level of film-making by making the audience feel something. I can't effectively explain Mulholland Dr. Even after two viewings, my understanding of the film is rudimentary at best, but the film remains a riveting experience even if I can't quite explain why.

It's best not to think too hard about the plot in Mulholland Dr. If you haven't seen a David Lynch film yet, I wish you luck. Try not to let it hurt your brain. You don't watch Mulholland Dr. for the story, so I won't even include it here. The cast is chock full of relative unknowns, but Naomi Watts clearly stands out as a familiar face in some unfamiliar territory. The film was always well recieved critically, but was mostly ignored early in it's lifetime. Since then, it has picked up a lot of steam, topping many lists as the best film of the decade. While I don't necessarily agree with that, Mulholland Dr. does have an awful lot to offer adventurous film goers.

Mulholland Dr. is, at it's core, an admirably ambitious film. It's narrative makes little discernible sense, especially on a first viewing, but it's just so affecting that it's hard to not be impressed. It sticks with you for a long time after watching it, growing and gnawing in the back of your head, and that's a pretty impressive feat considering how much other stuff is out there to distract you. Mulholland Dr. might best be described as a horror film. It's a haunting exploration of some of the darkest places in the human mind.

Mulholland Dr. is only going to appeal to a certain segment of the movie going audience. It's easy to hate, but those brave individuals willing to give it a legitimate chance, will find a lot of really fascinating things inside the film. It's a film that gets better and better every time you watch it. I'm not going to jump on to the "Mulholland Dr. is the best thing since sliced bread" train yet, but as far as modern expressionistic film-making goes, Mulholland Dr. is the tops.



Robert said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. It's such an affecting and absorbing movie!

Castor said...

Excellent review and you sum it up very well. It's not for everyone for it's easy to see why it became a cult movie ;)

CMrok93 said...

It doesn't do much to make sense, but Mulholland Dr. is one of those wacko films from David Lynch, that just is so strange, incoherent, and crazy, but yet so imaginative, well-acted, and intelligently structured, that it works