Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mulholland Drive Review

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Mulholland Drive follows the events of a young actress in her travel to Hollywood where she stays at her aunts to kick start her acting career. When she arrives she finds a woman that due to a car crash has amnesia and no recollection of who she is. Both women become entangled into a conspiracy involving a blue box and a director but is this a reality or a psychotic dream of a desperate woman?

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The film begins very generically maybe even slightly cliched in its introduction to Betty, with a bright young actress being enticed by the fame of Hollywood. When Betty meets Rita and the two begin to try to unravel the mystery behind Rita's car crash the story falls into a film noir genre with the audience being led to wonder 'who dunnit?". "It draws upon numerous classic Hollywood motifs to construct a narrative that situates itself within a number of traditional Hollywood genres (especially film noir and movies about Hollywood) but then explodes the conventions of those genres." (Booker, 2007:25) In a true David Lynch fashion nothing is what it seems within Mulholland Drive, and in deconstructing the narrative the audience questions the truth. For three-quarters of the film we are drawn in to a linear narrative following the film noir story of Betty and Rita finding out who tried to kill her but after a nightmarish scene we are thrown into something completely different, characters swap identities, established events become false and the film noir element is gone. All that is left is questions as to what the story is about. Is it a dream of a crazed actress haunted by jealousy trying to escape from the life that is falling away from her?

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Mulholland Drive is a film which questions the reality of what the audience are viewing. We as an audience are not given any clues as to what we are seeing is a reality as for most of the film we are led into belief that we are watching to women solving an attempted murder case. "The reality depends on which side of the looking glass we are standing. Looking forward, "Betty" is vouchsafed a vision of where infatuation and professional failure could lead, or looking backward, the movie's first part is the final anguished, transfiguring dream of "Diane"." (Bradshaw, 2002) There are many interpretations as to what the film is about, if you try to ignore the strange unfitting scenes it can be considered that through most of the film Diane has created an alternate reality in which she can love Rita for all the things she's done for her however in the end the reality breaks up her dream into a nightmare.

References -

Text -

Booker, M. Keith (2007) Postmodern Hollywood: What's new in film and why it makes us feel so strange accessed on 16/10/2011

Bradshaw, Peter (2002) Mulholland Drive review accessed on 16/10/2011


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