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netribution > features > reviews > mulholland drive

by Will Timbers | November 30th , 2001

Mulholland Drive

Pathe Distribution

Director - David Lynch
Cast - Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts and Laura Harring
Running Time - 146 mins

"Think about it, how his mind had to be tricked, so that he could go out and play golf rather than commit suicide for the deed he did." Speaking of OJ Simpson, Lynch gives us the key to his film The Lost Highway.

Mulholland Drive sees the director returns to his familiar territory of weirdness, for which he is known, after the surprisingly normal Straight Story.

Unfortunately I have no such key to offer you for this film. Though minds are tricked, a suicide does takes place and there are keys. Metallic blue to be exact, one opening a kind of Pandora‚s Box, the other signifying a death. However this film is not weird from beginning to end, like The Lost Highway, and is much the better for it. In a general sense, it is about the double-edged nature of Hollywood‚s sword. On the one hand the greatest dream factory in the world, and on the other the biggest soul destroyer. It begins as a wonderfully enjoyable black comedy, with Justin Theroux outstanding as Adam, a young film director, whose path seems beset by one calamity followed by another. And a contract killer who manages to make a balls up of every hit he attempts. Humour with a slightly dark twist, it is nonetheless surprising to find such laugh-out-loud sketches in a Lynch film.

Then all of a sudden, the inevitable happens and the film descends into weirdness. The lead is a starry-eyed girl called Betty, beautifully played by Naomi Watts. Hers is the eventual suicide I referred to earlier. (That is not strictly true, it is in fact Diane, the failed actress, who commits suicide, but they are both played by Watts.) In my opinion, the turning point of the film is a kind of Cinderella moment: Betty, having been taken by her Fairy Godmother, the casting agents, to the set of Adam's (the Prince) latest film is surely about to make her big break. However the Prince, not true to form, is intimidated (what kind of hero he?) by malevolent mobsters and casts the Ugly Sister. Betty rushes out as the clock strikes, for she has an appointment to keep with the very same Ugly Sister in the guise of her amnesiac nemesis, Rita, played by the not so ugly Laura Elena Harring. Well it makes sense to me. Others might say that the turning point of the film is when Betty and Rita, sleep together, or when the Pandora's Box, which Rita brought with her when she invaded Betty's home, is opened.

To be honest I don‚t really care; it is just so nice to be back in Lynch land.

Last Orders
The Hidden Fortress
Mulholland Drive
Back Against the Wall
The Bank
Dark Blue World
Beginners Luck
Gosford Park
The Pledge
The Center of the World
The Man Who Wasn't There
Baby Blues
The Score
The Circle
The Navigators
Mike Bassett:England Manager
George Washington

The Man Who Cried
Crime and Punishment in Suburbia

The Way of The Gun

Green Desert

Three Below Zero

Requiem For A Dream

The King is Alive

The House Of Mirth
The Luzhin Defence

One Day In September
There's Only One Jimmy Grimble
Miss Julie

Purely Belter
Ring 1
Ring 2
Dancer In The Dark

Angels of the Universe

The Exhibited

Billy Elliot

The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook (2nd Edition)
The Filmmakers Handbook
Imagining Reality - the Faber Book of Documentary
Before You Shoot

American Beauty


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