Mulholland Drive does n't look like a typical movie. It is not logic on which it is based, but emotions and moods are the main driving force of this film. A story filled with moments of surrealism and an open storyline, free to be interpreted as anything, Mulholland Drive is probably David Lynch's ultimate David Lynch film. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It depends on how you think about David Lynch's filmography.
Dreams are a central theme in Mulholland Drive , and like a dream, the storyline moves freely and the imagination is essential. Is that a dream? Is that dream an ideal? Or is the dream a delusion formed from unrealized desires? Or the dream itself is another world that is inversely proportional to our world? There is no absolute explanation for what dreams are, and neither is Mulholland Drive .
Here, David Lynch uses Hollywood as his dream place and Betty (Naomi Watts) as the dreamer. The story itself may be quite difficult to explain. Betty is a young woman who has just arrived in Los Angeles to try her luck at becoming an actress. Betty is someone who chases her dreams. Arriving at his aunt's apartment, Ruth, who is now not living there, he meets a mysterious woman named Rita (Laura Elena Harring) who is in his bathroom.
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Rita, at the beginning of the film, we see her involved in a car accident on a road called Mulholland Drive. Saved from the accident, he walked until he finally found Betty's apartment and decided to go into it. Due to the accident, he has amnesia and can't remember anything, not even his name. The name Rita he got after seeing the movie poster Gilda , starring Rita Hayworth. Unlike Betty who chases dreams, Rita is chased by dreams until she finally invites Betty to a mysterious midnight concert in the middle of the film because of her dream.
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When Betty and Rita are trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Rita, David Lynch introduces the third character in the film whose presence is not connected with Betty or Rita until the end of the film, a director named Adam (Justin Theroux) who is having trouble finding an actress who will play a role. as the main character in the film. During his story he meets a mob of mobsters who tell him to give his role to an unknown actor or he will die; he caught his wife sleeping with another man; he meets someone by the name of “Cowboy” (Monty Montgomery) and tells him to give the role he's been looking for to a woman named Camilla Rhodes (Melissa George) for her own good.
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My first impression is not how dreamy the film is, but how David Lynch portrays Hollywood as a truly dark, corrupt and dirty world. Hollywood may seem like a dream come true, but it is also a world full of betrayals, threats and heartache. At least that's the one attached to Mulholland Drive . And Hollywood is indeed the perfect setting for this film, because the world of Hollywood itself does seem like a mystical and mysterious world, perfectly integrated by the tone of the film which is equally mysterious and surreal.
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Then when the film ended, I, who was confused about what had actually happened, made a personal conclusion: all of this was just a dream. Starting from the existence of Betty and Rita to Adam, the three of them symbolize Hollywood itself. As a symbol of symbolism, Betty is portrayed as a young actress who is still naive and dreams big, Rita is a figure who is hurt and suffering because of how hard the Hollywood world is and Adam is a figure who is still fiercely trying to fight the pressure she is receiving from various sides.
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Did what happened during this film really happened? Or is it just an illusion or delusion? Nobody knows, and David Lynch certainly doesn't want to give a definite answer. But conclusion is not the goal, and satisfying the audience is not why Mulholland Drive was created. This film feels like the whole experience of watching David Lynch's previous films put together into a film, which aims to provoke and force each viewer to think and get their own conclusion, and if you want to provoke it then it does a lot of work!
What I really love about David Lynch is how he can find a glimmer of sweetness and warmth in the midst of the dark world he creates and is full of characters that are both eccentric and evil. Just look at films like Blue Velvet (personally, this is the best David Lynch film for me), Wild at Heart or Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me . In the middle of a bad and dark world, he can make a really sweet moment out of his character. Likewise with Mulholland Drive , with Betty always persistently helping Rita to reveal what really happened, so that they accept each other completely.
Then David Lynch is also very good at making a character that is truly perfect, in the sense that he has considerable depth and influence and emotion into the story. Moreover, here Betty and Rita are both dramatically played by Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring. Naomi Watts is able to capture Betty's carefree energy and is always curious and excited, while Rita perfectly channels her mysterious side with her cold gaze and her introverted nature. Justin Theroux also nicely captures the energy of a director who looks exhausted and confused, but this is the film of Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring.
Back to the original question, what is a dream? There may not be a definite answer, but Mulholland Drive may help. And like a dream, there will be no explanation that can describe what happens in this film which is full of abstract, poetic moments, and maybe that's what makes Mulholland Drive one of David Lynch's best films. This is the type of film that can give a different answer every time we watch it. We may interpret it as one thing in the present, but when we look back at it in the future we may interpret it to be different. And as Martin Scorsese said, that is cinema .
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