To coincide with the release of the third season of Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s masterpiece Mulholland Drive has received a re-release on Blu-Ray, with an approved restoration by Lynch himself.
A botched murder attempt leaves Rita (Laura Harring) with amnesia. She stumbles in to contact with aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) and together they investigate what happened to Rita and why. Meanwhile hot young director Adam (Justin Theroux) fights to make his latest film, as studio pressure threatens to shut it down.
David Lynch films are synonymous for being strange or weird and Mulholland Drive is no different. If you’re looking for a conventional narrative then this film is not for you. Lynch says there are clues to unravelling the mystery of the story but you won’t put it together on the first watch. However, it’s not weirdness for weirdness sake. It all works together to create a vision and an atmosphere of creeping dread. It’s oppressive and disturbing. We’re in the Lynch territory of films like Blue Velvet; revealing the rotten core that’s underneath the glamorous and seemingly perfect surface. Naomi Watts, whose performance is wonderful, is the bright eyed and optimistic young actress taking a chance on an acting career in Hollywood and she has the talent to become a star. However, she gets wrapped up in a bigger story and we see the real evil and darkness that lingers in the industry she is getting herself involved with.
Mulholland Drive is a film that works its way under your skin. It’s hypnotic and compelling and it pulls you under its spell so that you don’t realise you’ve been taken until certain moments hit you right in the chest. This is all bolstered by the subtle ambient score by regular Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti, which throbs underneath the scenes. Mulholland Drive is most like a horror film but rarely does it aim to just scare you. There are also moments of dark humour, another Lynch trademark, such as a hit spiralling comically out of control or a mysterious studio head spitting out bad espresso, and also beauty like the scene at the Silencio club that starts off with a strange musical act, which gives way to a touching sung performance. Mulholland Drive, like most Lynch films, avoids categorisation by shifting its tone and content from one scene to the next, yet it never feels like separate pieces; it coheres into a whole brilliant experience.
It’s not for everybody but Mulholland Drive is a dark and disturbing tumble down the visionary mind of David Lynch. It will stick with you long after it’s ended.
Special Features: Featurettes / Interviews (Naomi Watts and David Lynch) / New Interviews (Laura Harring, Mary Sweeney, Angelo Badalamenti) / Intro by Thierry Jousse / Art Cards
MULHOLLAND DRIVE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: DAVID LYNCH / STARRING: JUSTIN THEROUX, NAOMI WATTS, LAURA HARRING / RELEASE DATE: 22ND MAY