Mulholland Drive

If you do well, you will see me one time. If you do bad, you will see me two more times.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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I have a rule about these trite little reviews I write. In order to make sure I don't steal another's ideas, I try not to read reviews of a movie I have just seen or plan to see before I write my own review first. I broke this rule with Mulholland Drive if only for the reason that I needed some kind of explanation of what the hell just happened. I needed someone smarter than me to give me some clues or at least steer me down the right path. What I found out is that everyone is just about as clueless as me.

When I was done watching Mulholland Drive, it was about midnight on Sunday evening. I needed to do something, anything, before going to bed or god knew what kind of horrors I would find in the darkness of my tiny yuppy-filing cabinet apartment bedroom. I logged into my favorite escape from real life and told my friend that I had just seen the weirdest movie I had ever seen. He asked if it was weirder than "Clockwork Orange". Definitely.

Roger Ebert recently took 1000 people into a five day, 12 hour a day, frame-by-frame look this movie in order to make some sense from it. He came back with was nothing. There were some theories and some ideas, but no one could build any solid case as to what the hell this movie really IS. You can read his essay on this event called "Lost on 'Mulholland Drive'". If fifty eight thousand smart-movie-reviewer hours were spent trying to dissect this picture and they came up with their dicks in their hands, it is best if we don't try to analyze it any further. So what the hell do we do with this movie?

Well, once again, stealing from another review, we should base it strictly on emotional response, much like music. Mulholland Drive spawns a whole ton of different emotions, from lust to horror. There are some really terrifying moments in this movie, some that have stuck with me ever since finishing this flick. There are some mysteries or scenes that I replay over and over, trying to make sense of it but then remembering that I won't be able to.

So is this movie good? This is the first movie where I wish I had a "I don't have a fucking clue" rating for movies. It stuck with me, I will probably watch the movie again. The acting is great, the emotional control is pretty solid. There is no real story to speak of but each scene holds its own, some very funny, some pretty sad and some just play horrible. I can't recommend this one for anyone but the most hard core movie viewers. It is a movie to define strange movies. If you are expecting something traditional with a beginning, middle and end, give this one a miss. If you are looking to tell that hot girl at work "Did I see the most fucked up film last night" at the watercooler, than this might be the one for you.

The DVD has everything a good DVD should except for a much needed commentary track. It includes a 1.85 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS soundtrack. Because there seems to be no dynamic compression levels for DTS, I found it to be a little too powerful for my late-night viewing. The DVD contains no chapter stops, as Lynch said he only wanted people to watch the movie from the beginning to the end. There are some extra features including some "clues" to making meaning from this spaghetti-bowl of a film. It is a very solid DVD and a keeper if you are a fan.

One of the great things about movies is the ability to break genres. I always found it funny and confusing that video stores love their stupid categories. I went looking for a copy of Moulin Rouge in Best Buy and it took me about forty passses before I found it sandwiched between Comedy and Action in a row called Musicals. If there was a "seriously fucked up shit" category, than Mulholland Drive would be in it. Otherwise I have no idea exactly how to describe it.