21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A fantstic puzzle of a Movie,
This review is from: Mulholland Drive [DVD]  (DVD)
My advice to anyone who wants a formulaic thriller with cliched characters, explosions, banal 'comic relief' and a coherent chronological structure to stay away from this film until they are ready to take on something more intellectually stimulating than "Titanic"
Mulholland Drive is a movie open to interpretation depending on the viewer, but unlike some of Lynch's films, is more accessable, and overall, more satisfying for it. You don't need to 'get it' to appreciate the acting, cinematography and the sheer scope of the film. It's David Lynch returning to Twin Peaks style Americana, and this time, his target is Hollywood.
The plot itself is difficult to explain. Is it a Nancy Drew-style mystery involving a naiive starlet who's prospects are eternally fortuitous, or is it nothing more than a dream, dreamt by a down-and-out wannabe actress driven to desparation by her failed relationship? These questions, (and many more) will come into your head as you watch the film. Most of them will not be answered, (at least, not by the director), and you may not like, or understand the few answers that the film does provide. However, part of the fun of the movie is in drawing your own conclusions, and working out what is real and what is imaginary.
In a desperate bid to clarify what I'm talking about, 'Mulholland Drive' is like one of those Kit Williams style puzzle books, or the Merlin Mystery - at face value, nothing more than a series of beautiful drawings, a slightly elaborate plot, and a bunch of images that are seemingly out of place. However, everything is designed to give you sufficient clues to working out the puzzle, if you feel so inclined.
At first sight, Naomi Watts' acting isn't up to much - her role is of a wide-eyed happy-go-lucky newcomer to Hollywood, (who's luck is too good to be true) and her lines are delivered in corny 'Brady Bunch' pastiche. It is only later on, as Watts' character(s) develop that you realise that this is deliberate, and that Lynch is actually setting up a series of cliched Hollywood nonsense for the first act, as Watts demonstrates a chamelion-like quality to her acting that really does come across in the film, and really deserves a special mention.
Any Lynch fan will be placated - there are oddities, sultry vamps, enigmatic dwarves, silk-draped settings with chanteuses singing Roy Orbison songs, neon signs and curiosities to ponder over and psychoanalyse at every turn. It is quintessential Lynch. For anyone else, there is a highly original, if not confusing film that goes against all conventions of what a Hollywood movie should be, and is ultimately all the more refreshing for it.
Just don't be too disappointed if the ending is not generic enough for you.