Directed by David Lynch.
Written by David Lynch.
Starring Naomi Watts, Laura Herring and Justin Theroux.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 10/31/01
Happy Halloween! Bellview has grown to 272
subscribers, and as the year winds down, I expect it to top 300
before New Year's. This does not count those that receive it on
forward, as many of you do for friends, neighbors and partners.
...and, speaking of crazy, I went to see a
David Lynch film tonight. This is the same man that brought us
"Blue Velvet", "Wild at Heart" and most famously, the TV series
"Twin Peaks." All of these properties have one thing in common:
WTF stands for "What the fuck?", and that is
what you will be saying when you leave the theater after seeing this
"Mulholland Drive" is one of the most
frustrating film experiences I have had in a couple of years. The
movie starts off with a car accident involving the mysterious Rita
(Laura Harring) on LA's Mulholland Drive late one night, and she
seems to lose her memory in the wreck but knows that she might be in
some trouble. She holes up at an abandoned apartment on nearby
Sunset Drive, but doesn't know that she is about to have an
unexpected guest. Betty (Naomi Watts), an aspiring actress, is the
niece of the woman that owns the abandoned apartment, and the two
hit it off well at first. Although Betty is trying to find work in
Hollywood, she is intrigued by Rita's past and tries to help her
regain her memory.
Now, that is where the film starts. And,
the next 90 minutes is very impressive, with some of Lynch's best
work in scenes that *don't* involve the two main characters. One of
my favorite scenes is the pitch meeting in the board room, where
film director Adam (Justin Theroux) tries to understand why a
criminal (played in a cameo by Dan Hedaya) wants to use a particular
actress for an upcoming film. The camerawork and the incredible use
of silence in this scene make for an unnerving moment or two,
followed by a hilarious sequence involving an espresso. There are
other great moments here (again, in the first 90 minutes or so) that
make for a never-dull experience and enough weird stuff going on to
keep you sharp.
In fact, I was pretty much locked into
giving this film an Opening Weekend. But then...
[WARNING: ABOUT TO GIVE UP PLOT DETAILS]
At the point where Rita and Betty decide to
take their friendship, ahem, one step further, the film falls off
the rails and it then became "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" (in
other words, horrible). Not only do the leads then switch roles,
but the mystery of the first three-fourths of the film seems to not
interest writer/director Lynch at all. Lesbian activities, scary
creatures, miniature old people and general what-the-fuckness
dominates the final 40 minutes and from looking around my theater,
people seemed to be confused, lost, or leaving the theater. I
wanted to do the same, but I was still hoping that the film would
gain some sense back and decide to do something interesting.
It did not.
Unlike "Memento"--a film that doesn't quite
provide all the answers but provokes mind-bending conversation about
it afterwards--"Mulholland Drive" creates so many questions that you
don't even want to figure them out. I would see this film just to
enjoy the first 75% of it, because I think that part of the film is
very, very good. Just try and get it out of your head after you
have finished watching.
Rating: $8.25 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard