Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Director: David Lynch
Running Time: 146 mins
Mulholland Drive is an American film about an aspiring young actress who befriends a mysterious woman in her new Los Angeles who has amnesia after a car accident.
From legendary director David Lynch, this is a hugely challenging film to watch, with an incredibly unconventional story and structure, blurry perceptions of reality, slow-moving and hallucinogenic sequences and one of the most confusing plots you’ll ever see.
Let’s start, however, with something a bit simpler: the performances. Naomi Watts stars in the lead role and does a fantastic job, portraying a character that is seemingly simple on the outside, yet Watts manages to show to you clearly that there really is something much more confusing going on on the inside.
Laura Harring is also intriguing in the co-starring role. Her performance may not be as startling as Watts’, but she makes her character, a woman who doesn’t know anything about herself, hugely fascinating and mysterious, and one of the most enthralling things to follow along to in this story.
Moving gingerly towards the plot of this film, there are many good things and some bad things to be said. On the negative side, this is a very slow-moving film that doesn’t always hold your attention through some of the more difficult parts, whilst the mind-bending final act is also pretty inaccessible to wider audiences who aren’t up to the challenge of this film.
That’s by no means to say that you shouldn’t give this film a go, but if you’re not a fan of Lynch, then be warned that you’re in for something more unpredictable and confusing than you can ever imagine…
On the plus side, though, this story deserves so much credit for holding together so well. The first two-thirds aren’t too unconventional and confusing, although there is a lot of random stuff happening here and there that will likely throw you.
It’s the way that this plot descends from something slightly more normal into an insanely complex and effectively inexplicable world in the latter stages that is the most stunning thing. The film comes off more like a blurry dream than anything else, and although there are a lot of things David Lynch is trying to say about the real world, Hollywood and show business, you’re most likely to avoid having your brain broken here if you treat this as something more dream-like than a conventional film.
It is a fascinating movie to watch, though, and one with brilliant intelligence beyond the bounds of most of the film making world, and if you feel up to the incredible challenge of just watching it (let alone attempting to decipher it), then it’s a really impressive film, however its extreme complexity and inaccessibility to most people does bring it down a little, and that’s why it gets a 7.5 from me.