From the second Mulholland Dr. starts, you’ll be enraptured with it. It’s clearly a masterpiece from the beginning, and forces you to explore yourself in order to find it’s meaning. Despite some people calling Eraserhead David Lynch’s masterpiece, this is it.
After a brutal car accident in Los Angeles, California, Rita (Laura Harring) is the sole survivor but suffers mass amnesia. Wandering into a strangers apartment downtown, her story strangely intertwines with Betty Elms (Naomi Watts), a perky young woman in search of stardom. However, Betty is intrigued by Rita’s situation and is willing to put aside her dreams to pursue this mystery. The two women soon discover that nothing is as it seems in the city of dreams (imdb.com).
Much more of a plot synopsis would be too difficult, since half of the film is shot in a style similar to stream of consciousness, and would ruin the viewing experience. Critics have long argued the true meaning of the film since its release in 2001. And although they discuss it, they also warn about the dangers of overanalysing something so subjective. Mulholland Dr. was originally shot to as a pilot TV show. When the pilot wasn’t picked up, Lynch filmed an ending that was quickly recognized as genius. It won him several awards, and an Oscar nomination for best director (which was well deserved).
On Mulholland Dr.‘s imdb page, it lists ‘David Lynch’s 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller: – Pay particular attention in the beginning of the film: at least two clues are revealed before the credits. – Notice appearances of the red lampshade. – Can you hear the title of the film that Adam Kesher is auditioning actresses for? Is it mentioned again? – An accident is a terrible event… notice the location of the accident. – Who gives a key, and why? – Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup. – What is felt, realized and gathered at the club Silencio? – Did talent alone help Camilla? – Notice the occurrences surrounding the man behind Winkies. – Where is Aunt Ruth?’ This list immensely helped me discover what the film meant to me. And although this is extremely subjective, I’ve decided the first half of the film was a dream Betty had, idealizing her affair with Rita. Making it something romantic, mysterious, and happy. The second half of the film is the real situation, Betty is a junkie, aspiring actress that can’t deal with her lover leaving her. Many complain that there are several open-ended plot lines that are never resolved and blame this on the first half belonging to an unsuccessful pilot, but this adds to the dream like quailities of the whole (in my opinion, it’s very similar to the dream like qualities of Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut). This is film deserves to be watched, as you’ve probably experienced nothing like it. You owe it to yourself to take this bitchin’ ride with Lynch.