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Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive
(2001, Dir. David Lynch

Following on from my viewing of There Will Be Blood I decided to watch another one of the highest rated films of the 21st century, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

This film was actually my first ever viewing of David Lynch, a director who has received a lot of praise for his controversial films that have become famous over the years, garnering great 'cult status'. I had also heard a lot specifically about Mulholland Drive, a film that is constantly referred to whenever someone brings up a discussion surrounding mysterious and confusing films. Unlike There Will Be Blood which gives us a linear story in an epic way, this film is almost the opposite with the narrative structure and rules that come with a film torn apart to create a dreamlike product that although at times is confusing, is fascinating and rewarding.

The great thing about a film like this is that it is almost impossible to give someone an idea of what the film is about without really spoiling it, and even then you’re not spoiling the films dreamlike style leaves any type of interpretation completely up to the individual viewer.

The film focuses on the lives of two young women named Betty and Rita, following a car crash in which Rita loses her memory and forgets her own identity, the two forge a bond as the pair attempt to get to the bottom of an incredibly strange mystery involving a blue box and key, a mysterious cowboy, a film director and a night club called Silencio.

So if the meaning of the film require such great thought and discussion after watching the film, how can I rate such a viewing so high considering it is my first ever viewing from the director? The film works on a number of levels that work together to give such an enjoyable experience. The film works as a suspenseful thriller, because of the surreal dreamlike world we never know what is around the corner, with characters like the monster behind Twinkie’s and a cowboy that appears out of nowhere it is difficult not be at least slightly spooked out by the eerie and unpredictable atmosphere created. Lynch’s attention to detail makes the mystery even more enthralling, constantly engaging the viewer and forcing you to keep your eyes attached to the screen in the fear of missing something that might be of significance to solving the mystery.

Sometimes when watching a film you can tell by your initial reaction and immediate thoughts that follow the viewing that you have seen a great film, which is exactly how I felt. Although I was confused and wanted answers I was mesmerised by what I had seen and really could not stop thinking about it.

I won’t discuss my personal interpretation of the film in my review; I’d rather discuss that elsewhere without spoiling the viewer who will benefit from watching without any ideas heading into it. However I will say that my interpretation I think follows the general theory behind what actually happens during Mulholland Drive, however like many critics have said I think it is important not to focus to much on analysing the meaning, although you will no doubt want to gather some type of meaning for what you have seen, Lynch has deliberately left the film ambiguous with no official or confirmed meaning, you should appreciate the film for what it is and I believe that is quite possibly a masterpiece in filmmaking.