Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart ★★★★

Kicking off my Lynchian sojourn as I enjoy a few days in a riverside cabin is this road movie from Hell – a pre-Tarantino, genre-bending, Wizard of Oz-inspired trip with light lashings of David Lynch’s trademark surrealism. The graphic opening scenes quickly set the no-holds-barred tone of the film, allowing it to go to some incredibly dark places whilst maintaining a very twisted sense of humour.

Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern give brilliant performances as Sailor and Lula, two lovers on the run from Lula’s possessive mother, who may or may not be a witch. Along the way, they meet the nauseating psychopath Bobby Peru – played with terrifying glee by Willem Dafoe, in a role that rivals Dennis Hopper’s in Blue Velvet.

The most memorable scene in the film comes about halfway through, as Sailor and Lula cruise down a desert highway in the middle of the night and come across a horrific car crash and its lone survivor, while Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” drifts ominously in the background – such a haunting scene, and one of the more impactful in a film full of shocking moments. This is not as good or even as interesting as the other David Lynch films I’ve seen so far, but like all the others, it is quite the experience.

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