Mulholland Drive, commonly known that David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.,” was compiled from the scraps of a canceled TV show, including some subsequent material. Some audiences may see this as an attempt to explain the film’s shattered structure and lack of coherence. An entire film may be lying someplace in Lynch’s thoughts. A phantom Director’s Cut that only lives in his original proposal. The film is hallucinatory, and, like most dreams, it goes relentlessly along a road with numerous twists and turns.
An all over the place narrative that comes together in the end, mostly.
Mulholland Drive is a story about a… It’s the life of and failure of……..well, we can’t fill in the blanks without giving up the story in any way, shape, or form. Betty Elms (Naomi Watts), a bright, determined actress who travels in town looking to be a big Hollywood star, is Mulholland Drive’s closest approach to a protagonist we can follow. Betty encounters Rita (Laura Harring), a dark-haired, brunette beauty who wanders down Mulholland Drive after escaping a car crash. The trauma of the crash and being held at gunpoint has left Rita an amnesiac.
By the conclusion of the film, it’s not even possible to ascertain they’re distinct persons. And Rita questions if she’s Diane Selwyn, a name she notices off a waitress’ name tag at a dinner.
Mulholland Drive: Review
A true testament to what masterpiece chaos can be.
Starry-eyed Betty arrived in Hollywood and ended up living at her aunt’s flat, but if we’re in a dream, there’s no need to accept it on a literal level. It’s just as possible that she fantasizes about stepping off a plane from Ontario to Los Angeles, being wished good luck by the giggling elderly couple who welcomed her on the plane and reaching her residence via taxi. Dreams cobble their contents from the materials at hand, and although the old folks turn up again at the end of the film, their actual existence may be problematic.
Mulholland Drive is as magnificent and unsettling as anything else Lynch has done. Lynch’s motifs are wild and experimental: fantasies come true; bizarre thought bubbles come to life. It’s psychotically vivid and oppressively odd. But it also has a deeply sexual and emotionally intimate component that Lynch never really achieves anywhere. Lynch sustains an unsettling and strange mood throughout. It is almost like Mulholland Drive picks from where Citizen Kane leaves off.
Fantasy of delusion and identification
It’s a fantasy of delusion and identification, a meditation on the enigma of casting in artwork as much as in life: the critical significance of finding the appropriate character. Whereas Orson Welles’ excellent film opens with a brief, surreal sequence with a snow globe and the mysterious phrase “Rosebud,” but then progresses more straightforwardly. Its dream-like features give birth to a myriad of perplexing and inexplicable phenomena, which naturally attract interpretation. There is no rationale. It’s possible that there isn’t even a mystery. The film is a metaphor for all that Hollywood is, good or terrible, giving or taking, successful or unsuccessful.
The movie draws some major parallels to a classic Hollywood film Sunset Boulevard (1950), a dark comedy about a fallen actress. She does not accept her reality of retirement from the glamorous film life. David Lynch draws subtle parallels of his character Betty to Norma Desmond’s character in Sunset Boulevard. Both refuse to accept their fate and turn to hallucinations for maintaining their story.
Betty and Rita go on a Nancy Drew-like crime-solving spree when Betty encourages Rita to find out who she is. An impressive piece of metaphor for the reality of events and the storyline we follow. All of Dian’s characters are a part of her life. She repurposes them symbolically in her crusade to justify her actions.
The film is undeniably difficult. Interesting story tangents severe like malignant limbs, and characters arise and vanish. Late in the film, following what appears to be a dream-like episode, the heroine transforms from the upbeat Betty to a tormented, failing actress named Diane.
Mulholland Drive: Ending explained
Blue is the color of death in this film.
Even though Lynch stops people from unpacking and overanalyzing the entire film into a single meaning, his belief that Mulholland Drive tells a wholesome and holistic story have made some viewers come up with a bizarre yet plausible theory, namely, that everything happening in Mulholland Drive leading up to the unboxing of the blue box is a dream, which Diane has just before and possibly just why she shoots herself in the face.
Suppose we accept and go with Diane’s tale. She is a rejected actress who doesn’t make it to Hollywood. Abandoned and humiliated by Camilla Rhodes, she is forced to watch as her sweetheart rises to celebrity and marries a director. We can expect her to be filled with rage, love, and jealousy, leading her to kill her competition and partner. If this is true, then many things in the film’s opening 100 minutes seem clear. Diane aspires to be the pure, innocent, and immediately successful Betty. Rita is Camilla’s clone who reciprocates her affection, is more submissive and loving.
Then there are the subtler points to consider. Diane’s dead aunt is Betty’s “Aunt Ruth”. The vehicle accident occurs on Mulholland Dr. because Diane experienced the tragedy of Adam and Camilla’s wedding announcement near the location. Camilla Rhodes(Melissa George) is the lady that the real Camilla kissed before Betty to one-up her.
Could it be any better?
Diane could perhaps conceive the two subplots. Firstly, Adam’s difficulties and constant threats to cast Camilla, maybe Diane’s subconscious, justifying why she didn’t get the role. Secondly, the mystery hitman (Mark Pellegrino) is, of fact, the same person Diane contracted to murder Camilla, fumbling around being incompetent and killing innocent people is how she hopes he might have been unsuccessful at killing the real Camilla.
In the end, even if the dream reading provides useful background for Diane’s experience as an emotional journey, the true meaning of Mulholland Drive’s finale is mainly determined by what each individual takes away from it. So, if you enjoyed the movie but didn’t quite “get” its excruciating last act, Lynch’s idea is that you know it, it’s whatever you want it to be.
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