Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Cast: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Jeanne Bates, Robert Forster, Brent Briscoe, Maya Bond, Patrick Fischler, Michael Cooke, Bonnie Aarons, Michael J. Anderson, Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Mark Pellegrino, Billy Ray Cyrus
Seen on: 28.6.2016
Betty (Naomi Watts) arrives in Hollywood, hoping to kick off her acting career. Her aunt Ruth (Maya Bond) has given her the use of her apartment and Betty is excited to get started. But then she finds Rita (Laura Harring) in her apartment, believing her to be a friend of Ruth’s. But Rita simply wandered into the apartment afte a car accident robbed her of all her memories, leaving her only with a sense of dread. Betty is dead-set on trying to figure out who Rita – if that is actually her name – is and who she’s running from.
Mulholland Drive was strange as is to be expected from a Lynch film, but much less of a mind fuck than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed watching it, mostly due to the fantastic performance by Naomi Watts.
After the film was over, I heard the people in front of me mutter that this was one of the weirdest and most incomprehensible films they’d ever seen. I thought this was pretty hilarious because for me, it was one of the clearest and most easily accessible Lynch films I have seen so far. Yes, the story does take some weird twists and turns, but it’s far from impenetrable (my first Lynch film was Inland Empire, so my bar might be quite high in that regard).
Whether you make sense of it or not, Mulholland Drive certainly develops a certain pull and draws you into its world. The story runs in a hypnotic spiral that is ever tightening and you barely realize it as you watch, completely caught up in the emotions and the tensions of the moment.
This only works because of Naomi Watts and, to a lesser extent, Laura Harring. Betty is so open with her emotions and Watts paints them so clearly, you can’t help but empathize with her and start to feel what she’s feeling. And then, when the movie calls her as a character and her openness into question, it’s an ingenious way to unsettle the audience as it casts doubt on their own emotion and not just what’s going on on-screen.
That is ultimately what makes Mulholland Drive such an immersive experience: it is perfectly attuned to the mood that is created, both on- and off-screen and plays masterfully with that. And that is something that definitely has to be experienced.