MULHOLLAND DR.
U.S.A. - France | 2001
Directed by David Lynch
Starring
Naomi Watts
Laura Elena Harring

Justin Theroux
Color
| 147 Minutes | R
Format: DVD (R1 - NTSC)
Universal Home Video
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9
    8   10 = Highest Rating  
Guest Review by Nick Coccellato
David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. is definitely a trip down the rabbit hole. There are about six to seven 'interconnected' stories that don't actually connect in any cogent, rational way. This isn't like Robert Altman's Short Cuts, in which characters cross paths with one another. In this film the stories are all linked by feelings of angst, denial and impending doom. If you're looking for logic, go somewhere else.
   
Perky Canadian Betty Elms (Naomi Watts, Eastern Promises) lands in L.A. hoping to break into show business. Arriving at her aunt's supposedly vacant apartment, she finds a naked woman in the shower. The stranger (smoldering Laura Elena Harring) calls herself Rita. She has amnesia. She knows there was an accident but can't remember where or when. Looking into Rita's purse, Betty finds only a wad of cash and a blue key. Betty takes it upon herself to help Rita discover her old identity and find out what happened.
    That is about as conventional as the movie gets. To go any further would spoil the fun. This film isn't interested in following a straight, logical narrative but in getting lost in the mysterious and seductive world of Los Angeles. Where else could a cowboy (Monty Montgomery) and a dwarf (Carnivŕle's Michael J. Anderson) hold sway over a major director's (Justin Theroux) film production? Where else could an executive (Angelo Badalamenti) frighten a bunch of major Hollywood players with his taste in espresso? Where else could a grown man named Dan (Patrick Fisher) be shocked into cardiac arrest by the face of a homeless person he saw in his dreams? And — this being a Lynch movie — where else could a perky blonde and amnesiac brunette suddenly and inexplicably find themselves in bed together?
    Many conventional moviegoers dismiss Lynch (Wild at Heart, DYNAMIC:01) as esoteric and nonsensical, a pretentious hack throwing unrelated imagery up on the screen and calling it "art." The truth of the matter is, while he may be esoteric, he is not pretentious and he is not a hack. He is an American original who tells stories no one else can tell, in ways no else has even thought of.
    If you don't believe me, just take a ride down Mulholland Drive.

In an age where more and more storage space on DVDs is dedicated to bonus features, Universal's 2002 release of Mulholland Dr. is wonderfully economical. The anamorphic 1.85 transfer boasts top-drawer picture/sound quality (5.1 and DTS audio options); subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French. But the only bonus features are the theatrical trailer (a preview of the nuttiness to come) and, as a printed case insert, a list of ten clues provided by the director for "solving" the film. ("Note appearances of the red lampshades"; "An accident is a terrible event... Notice its location", and so forth.) That's it. There are no featurettes or commentaries, nor is the disc even encoded with standard chapter-stops — you heard that right, the entire film is one solid chapter. Some folks will obviously find this pretty frustrating, especially if they're inclined to watch the movie over multiple sittings (something NOT recommended with Lynch's oeuvre, it must be said), but I came to appreciate the ambiguity of it all. It only adds to the mystery the film itself possesses, in abundance.
    Often bonus features are added as extras just to lure customers. Other times, these supplements actually tell you too much. They destroy the mystery of how the film was created. Not here. You're not told a thing. Nothing. Silencio.
6/04/08
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