This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Willow Maclay’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Fire Walk With Me is Laura's (Sheryl Lee) story, but there's one match cut between Laura & Leland (Ray Wise) that deepens the tragedy & presents it as not singular, but generational. At the close of the initial mystery in the Twin Peaks TV show Leland has a conversation with Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) where he talks about being a child & seeing Bob at their old Lake House. At first glance this could simply be Leland covering his tracks as Cooper & co. begin to close the case, but that's a relatively simple answer for deeper problems. In Fire Walk With Me Leland's childhood history is implied & the moment where he discusses the lake house & Bob becomes more explicit in this same match cut I mentioned above. The cut is simple, but through the image these two are tied together through empathy. Laura sits finding comfort in the solitude of her bedroom until she begins to sob upon remembering how her father treated her at dinner. Leland threatened her with punishment because her hands weren't clean. Laura continues to sob & she begins to put the pieces together & this figure that has abused her for years who previously only existed in a disassociate haze is becoming clearer as her father. The cut shows Leland crying at his own actions in his own bedroom. Leland's eyes drop, almost like a curtain, making blurry the metaphor between the surrealism of the black lodge & his abusive behaviour towards Laura. What this cut demands is that we see Leland as not simply a figure of evil, but as a someone who has been tortured, much the same as Laura, & this is when that earlier scene in the show becomes harrowing. Leland, like Laura, has dealt with sexual abuse, maybe even incest, & he wishes he didn't fall. He prays he didn't lay his hands on Laura, but he has & it kills him. He has to create a monster to distance himself from the evil inside much like Laura has to create a figure to shield herself from the truth of her father, because it's all too much to bear. The tragedy between the two is made all the more tormented as we dance toward the inevitable with the knowledge of how this story ends for both.