Mulholland Drive ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

There's a moment in Mulholland Drive so ingeniously deceptive that I have no choice but to call it perfect. That moment is the atmospheric performance of "Llorando" (Roy Orbison's "Crying"), sung with such power and stillness that the viewer sits, captive to Lynch's storytelling. Then, at the peak of the song, the singer freezes and collapses, yet the music continues. My jaw dropped, as my mouth drooped into a perplexed crevice on the lower regions of my face. I'd been Lynch'd.

It's puzzling to analyze what exactly is so effective about that scene, especially since it should be predictable. In Mulholland Drive , we're told precisely what will happen, then it happens, and we react like something unfathomable has occurred. Geno Silva's character warns us there is no orchestra, no live music, everything is recorded and played off a tape. But when the singer collapses, and the tape continues, it's as though we've forgotten about what Silva had just said.

The theory of telling the audience exactly what will happen and then showing them is a technique witnessed in the iconic scene behind Winkie's Diner. Patrick Fischler claims a hideous creature will step out from behind behind the wall. Then it does. And somehow it's the fucking most startling moment in cinematic history.

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