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Mulholland Drive

2001

R CC

This sexy thriller has been acclaimed as one of the year's best films. Two beautiful women are caught up in a lethally twisted mystery - and ensnared in an equally dangerous web of erotic passion.

Starring:
Naomi Watts, Jeanne Bates
Runtime:
2 hours, 27 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director David Lynch
Starring Naomi Watts, Jeanne Bates
Supporting actors Dan Birnbaum, Laura Harring, Randall Wulff, Robert Forster, Brent Briscoe, Maya Bond, Patrick Fischler, Michael Cooke, Bonnie Aarons, Michael J. Anderson, Joseph Kearney, Enrique Buelna, Richard Mead, Sean Everett, Ann Miller, Angelo Badalamenti, Dan Hedaya, Daniel Rey
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I won't bother to add to the already monolithic body of glowing reviews of this film; I think it is a masterful work, equivalent to and perhaps surpassing "Blue Velvet" in artistic merit. I am writing mostly because many of those who claim that they hated the film because it "doesn't make sense," or loved it even though it is "open to interpretation" may not have taken heed of the clues David Lynch included in the DVD sleeve. They clearly reveal the logic of the film to those who take the requisite time to think them through. My review is essentially one giant "spoiler," so if you haven't seen the film, take heed.

The film most certainly does "make sense" and follows a completely rational and logistically valid plot structure. The film begins with a stylized jitterbug contest behind the opening credits, showing Naomi Watt's character (Diane Selwyn) winning a trip to LA from her native Canada to tryout for a Hollywood production. We then see the suggestion of a sleeping figure (Diane again) in red sheets prior to the start of her dream, which opens with the hypnotic figure of a limosine traveling down a dark road, containing Diane's idealization of her real-life paramour, Camilla Rhodes. In reality, Camilla is Diane's former lesbian lover, who betrayed her by stealing the coveted role in the film Diane unsuccessfully tried out for, and spurned her affections for the director of the film. Diane is so jealous and infuriated that she hires a hitman to kill Camilla; when the two meet to discuss the deal, the hitman says he will leave a blue key on her coffee table to signify that Camilla has been successfully dispatched.
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Format: DVD
Don't listen to anyone who tells you that this movie is impossible to understand. That's not true. Difficult, yes...especially on first viewing, but there is method to David Lynch's madness and there is an explanation to be found for those willing to look.

Mulholland Drive is a brilliantly structured film even though the structure is unconventional. Basically the first two hours play out as the dream of a very troubled young woman by the name of Diane Selwyn. In the final 30 minutes we are taken into Diane's reality. Mullholland Drive is a very disturbing portrait of the inner world of a woman about to commit suicide and we learn about her life and what led her to murder and suicide through the dream imagery of the first two hours.

What confuses many people the first time they see Mulholland Drive is that David Lynch doesn't use the normal cinematic techniques to tip his audience off that they are watching a dream segment. In fact, the dream plays out in fairly conventional linear fashion while it is the reality portion of the film that plays out in non-linear form, jumping back and forth in time and introducing psychotic hallucinations as well. This further blurs the line between reality and fantasy in this film.

Contrary to popular belief Mulholland Drive is actually very intricately plotted, although the narrative is not readily apparent on the first viewing. The dream portion is a mirror image of reality and it displays a reversed reflection of Diane's real world. A few examples: In the dream Rita exits the limousine and walks downhill; in reality Diane exits the limousine and walks uphill. In the dream Aunt Ruth is alive; in reality Aunt Ruth is dead.
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Format: DVD
This movie was not intended to be shown in one sitting. Originally conceived as a television drama (much like Twin Peaks), it only became a film when it was not picked up for a television market. David Lynch then re-imagined what he had already created and worked to fashion a film, seeking foreign producers and a distributor that trusted him. While this short history of the genesis of the film does not explain its intricacies, perhaps it will help to soothe the frustrations of someone watching the film for the first time. Can you imagine trying to piece together the entire history of the X-Files in one 3 hour sitting? It would be difficult at best.
In my opinion, one big clue to the movie is in the opening shot (not the beginning credits, but the first "film" frame). It is of a pillow and a sheet...that quickly dissolves into a rather nostalgic ride down Mulholland Drive (the road that runs behind the famous HOLLYWOOD sign). The movie does not return the viewer to that shot ... of the pillow again until Diane wakes up nearly 5/8's of the way through the film. It can be assumed that this whole portion of the film has been one long dream, a dream that gives us a great deal of insight into the personal desires and fantasies of Diane. The rest of the film is a mish-mash of (in my opinion) drug-induced daydreams and paranoia, seen through the beer-bottle goggles of Diane. She over-emphasizes the importance of things she is suspicious of, and sees things that are not really there--ultimately leading to her making some bad decisions that she cannot deal with.
Several characters appear in both worlds (the dream, and the warped/drug altered reality of the end). These characters, we assume, have had some kind of impact on Diane's life.
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