Christina Reynolds’s review published on Letterboxd:
Mulholland Drive (stylized as Mulholland Dr.) is a 2001 surrealist neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Mark Pellegrino and Robert Forster. It tells the story of an aspiring actress named Betty Elms (Watts), newly arrived in Los Angeles, who meets and befriends an amnesiac woman (Harring) recovering from a car accident. The story follows several other vignettes and characters, including a Hollywood film director (Theroux).
Finishing this film admittingly requires a lot of patience. I don't want to use the word boring, because that's a very weak one in this context, but the pace at which this film moves initially and develops over time is incredibly slow and some scenes seem unnecessary given the overarching plot and nature of this film.
You know that face you used to make when you were at a friend’s house growing up, and they would be getting yelled at by their parents (😬 <- this one, for those of you that can’t empathize)? The one you make when you want something to be over, but you’re still curious to see what happens? Expect to be wearing this expression during the first half of this film and 𝓳𝓾𝓼𝓽. 𝓫𝓮. 𝓹𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓮𝓷𝓽.
Some explanation is in order regarding the context of the conception of Mulholland Drive’; I, like I'm sure so many other people who watch this, felt that the conclusion is a bit rushed and is in some ways the results of just “wanting to get it over with”. A majority of this film was actually taped two years prior to its release and it wasn't meant to be a feature film at first - this was intended to be the pilot episode of a potential television program….but poor Mr. Lynch was rejected by any television executive that gave it the time of day. Armed with material that is as open ended as it is convoluted, Lynch made a choice: I’m going to include an ending to this movie, but I’m going to give my viewers a thing or two to think about (Insert maniacal laughter)!
After arriving to the conclusion, I feel equal parts confused and refreshed; there is a totality that sits with me in spirit even though I’m sure there’s a thing or two I missed or didn’t grasp a deep-reaching understanding of…
I do however, appreciate the large variety of elements that I can conceptualize as driving the main character’s behaviors. Is it jealousy? Is it disappointment? Is it regret? Is there some amount of reconciliation regarding her subjective failure as an actress?
The beauty is not in ‘Mulholland’s Drive's apparent desire to confuse its audience members -
But in the bits and pieces that openly invite resonance and empathy while simultaneously feeling just out of reach.
I can completely understand why this may fall short of someone else's' expectations-
But I would definitely recommend watching this at least once and seeing where it takes you.
It just might be the surprise you’ve been waiting for.
𝘏𝘦𝘺, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘺 𝘨𝘪𝘳𝘭, 𝘸𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘶𝘱