Blue Velvet

Finding Inland Empire far too inaccessible for a David Lynch beginner, someone recommended I watch Blue Velvet.  Released in 1986, this film is a masterpiece.  A terrifying masterpiece.

The story follows Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), a college student who’s returned from his studies to help out at his father’s hardware store after some sort of incident left the father in the hospital.  While walking to the hospital, he comes across a severed ear, which he turns into to detective John Williams.  Williams asks Jeffrey to keep this discovery on the down low, not to discuss it with anyone.  However, Williams’ daughter Sandy (Laura Dern) starts seeing Jeffrey, and the two decide to investigate the strange goings on.  This leads the two to the apartment of Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), and introduces them to her very strange, and complicated situation.

The story, as proclaimed by critics old enough to criticize films in the mid 80s (this excludes me), is a visionary masterpiece about sexual awakening, about the the discovery of good and evil in each of us.  Lynch proves he is a master at his craft with this visually stunning piece.  The viewer is treated to lavish camera shots, incredibly powerful scenes, and subject matter that astounds.  The impressive part of this film is that as the Jeffrey and Sandy get deeper and deeper into things they just shouldn’t be involved in as carefree young adults, Lynch makes you feel their panic.  You too, will feel like you’ve gotten into something far over your head, and you’ll question your choice to watch Blue Velvet, as you quickly realize that you are not in control, that Lynch is calling all the shots.

Many argue that the film exploits Rossellini, as her part requires vast amounts of nudity, and puts her in humiliatingly compromising situations that seem to objectify women.  This is simply not true, and those that feel like they were voyeurs in Lynch’s devious story completely missed the point.  Blue Velvet forces you to think, to make your own conclusions.  While this is a turn off to many, to true cinophiles, this is what film is all about.  Leave your inhibitions at the door, and lose yourself in the glory of this piece.

★★★★

Rottentomatoes: 90%Cream of the Crop: Not enough reviews for a score

Comments
3 Responses to “Blue Velvet”
  1. Reading this review made me a little uncomfortable, meaning I probably wouldn’t be able to watch it.

    You are so good at picking movies. So good.

    Happy 100th!!

  2. Jessica says:

    Twin Peaks here you come. David Lynch is usually a little much for me, but he can certainly set a mood.

  3. magicman says:

    you’re a great writer and that’s why I felt this review could have gone a bit deeper. I feel like you know it’s a good film and you tell us it’s visually stunning several times, but I’d like t know why. I’d like to see more specific and descriptive examples from the film. Is that possible? Maybe that’s not what you’re going for with a film critique.

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