Danielnik19’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is my first David Lynch film ever and finally had the opportunity to watch Wild at Heart at the theater in 35mm copy. Clearly, I didn’t know what am I going into, I had no expectations, no clue what is the film about. I only read a bit about Lynch and his career and couldn’t believe he retired 😱🤧. But, films like this will stay forever. I have never come across such a thing like this and I imagine that Lynch's films inspired the following directors like Ari Aster to direct films in the same genre.
As far as I concern, Lynch loves to make bizarre with some extra of weirdness, and Wild at Heart is one of them. It was and still remains the most ridiculous- oh wait, I have a better word: outrageous. The most outrageous adventure ever, I mean it in a positive way. I wish I could compare to his other projects, but I haven’t seen them yet so... I will try as much as possible to address only what is related to this film.
Based on a novel by Barry Gifford, Wild at Heart sets After breaking parole for self defensive manslaughter, Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) and his girlfriend Lula Fortune (Laura Dern) head down the highway for sunny California. Lula's mother (Diane Ladd) sends out a private detective and a hitman after them. Sailor and Lula encounter an assortment of extremely bizarre "people" while discovering hidden secrets about one another. Full of lurid imagery and references to The Wizard of Oz.
What makes the film so special is the use of Lynch’s mastermind. Of course this film based on a novel, and Lynch have had to make some changes to fiction to force the viewer to lower expectations and prepare for something different and unconventional. Back to what I said, this is an extremely hyperreal in a strange feature: the movie was weird, the characters are very odd, one after another. Besides, alongside the bizarreness level, the film becomes more funnier that anyone could expect. The more the film gets bizarre, the more funnier it becomes. I found a great example that makes this ultra-odd is Bobby Peru (Willem Defoe). All my years of cinema, I hadn’t met any character like this before. He is so disgusting you just to have to laugh out loud.
Another aspect Lynch reveals is for his unique style, which contains surrealistic elements and his tendency to take his film's heroes into bizarre and peaceful situations. Sex plays a key role, the women who play his films are very beautiful, but also depressed and weakened. Like Lula, who feels weak and selfish (but also beautiful) when her friend is not around. Therefore, she loses hope and enters into physical and mental danger.
Perhaps the cast was also helpful and at the same time weird. Nicolas Cage is fun to watch and provides most of the laughs. His role here also reminds me the other films of his. Laura Dern was sensational as an attractive sexy woman. I heard she also plays like this role in the rest of Lynch’s movies, which I cannot wait to watch them. The rest of supporting cast: Willem Defoe, Diane Ladd and Harry Dean Stanton provides that enough vitality that ameliorates the narrative.
I’m keeping repeating this over and over again, a Palm d’Or winner Wild at Heart is a an amusing film, full of energy and fine dialogue. It takes very long, I agree but some of you will enjoy from this, one that would make a good introduction to Lynch for those unfamiliar. Can’t simply wait to start watching his next projects, including Twin Peaks!