Mulholland Drive (2001) – The City of Dreams

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch

David Lynch’s name himself became one of the directors best known for his Lynchian trademark, very surrealism. He always combines elements of dreams and reality where it’s arguably undistinguished hard. Embarrassingly, why did I just watch the film? Why did I just watch this “Mulholland Drive” which is considered to be Lynch’s masterpiece ever existed? Although this is my first-time experience at Lynch’s world of dream, I tried to explore it. I tried to explore using this mature reasoning ability before I couldn’t make any metaphor again. Interestingly enough, this film raised Naomi Watts‘ name herself before being famous for starring in remake films.

After frustration even reading a lot of analysis and articles about this film, I tried theorizing too even though I didn’t know this theory would make sense. It tells about Betty (Naomi Watts), a plain young girl with the dream of becoming a celebrity in Los Angeles. For the first time, she managed to set foot there. She lives in an apartment owned by her Aunt Ruth who is also an actress and is currently filming. Betty stayed in her empty apartment. There too, she met a mysterious woman by the name of Rita (Laura Harring). After using Rita Hayworth’s name herself, she was amnesia after the car accident she had experienced the night before. Betty felt sorry and finally decided to help her.

This movie has many sub-plots like the one about Adam (Justin Theroux), a director in the process of directing a movie. He was under pressure from a group of Men in Black to use their own choice of actresses. Of course, Adam felt lost complete control and freedom with his film. It’s just having a complex sub-plot where they all don’t have anything with the main premise. However, farther away, they will form a common thread with all. This film, at first glance, seems simple. It’s like a simple film about a girl in her dreams to become an actress in Hollywood. Then, the tone becomes strange, mysterious, absurd, and disturbing. As if, you are watching a wrong movie because this is a nightmare.

David Lynch doesn’t stop at the place so that this film will getting weirder. The final third of the film begins with Lynch’s crazy parade where he tries to ruffle the audience’s mind. That’s when you tried to turn off the film or maybe you were asleep whether you watched it a bunch of times still frustrating. The audience tries to arrange this puzzle piece and clues even for small detail, Lynch stores it in all kinds of angles. These might be in the dialogue or it could be through a camera perspective. It could be how the actors reaction or have the same shots in the prologue and the epilogue. This is the most interesting part where you don’t want to miss it but you are trying to find out what the film really was.

Very different from Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” where there is a clear answer after you watch it as closely as possible. “Mulholland Drive”, no matter how many times you watch it, you can’t find any clear answer. David Lynch himself doesn’t want to tell or interpret the film. Maybe he alone didn’t know what he was actually directing on, nobody knew. He only gives us a small clue so that we can interpret it as fully as possible. This film is a presentation of a theory from Lynch about absurdity nightmares and the continuity of each role. Just like us where everyone has different theories to this movie.

Personally, “Mulholland Drive” uses a non-linear plot where there is a continuity of related stories you watch it from Diane’s arc to Betty’s arc. Therefore, the two universes join each other only in differences from characters make reality and dreams become one. Every object, location, and setting takes turns into the world of dreams or it could be the Silencio’s segment were symbols about the right answer. Suspense is the most powerful character in this film and twists as if it were the supporting character. Little by little, how many times have you watched this film? Still, there is no clear answer. It’s a beauty of surrealism and fake scenario. I could think arbitrarily, so do you.

Naomi Watts and Laura Harring take their best performances into one of the greatest Hollywood actresses. Harring and Watts act as two characters in turn. There is Watts as Betty, a plain actress who dreams of being able to set foot in Hollywood. Watt’s Diane is the most depressing character. She was an introvert, shy, but was pressured until she felt sad and turned towards dreams rather than accepting the reality of his own life. Harring, as well as Watts, acts as Rita, a plain but fragile character. On the other hand, Harring’s Camilla Rhodes is the most successful actress and manipulative after taking advantage of Diane’s feelings.

Apart from why this film considered as a classic cult, David Lynch is the director with the most noticeable trademark. As with Kubrickian and Tarantinoesque, Lynchian is very strange but original. “Mulholland Drive” is like a fake show where only characters and scenarios can be seen from all angles. The bunch of memorable scenes (including your favorite lesbian sex scene) spawns many pop culture. Like a dream, we just can’t accept reality. We continue to dream and dream even if we don’t want to accept this bitter reality. Just like you always deja vu, sleep paralyze, inception, or lucid dream. We all have strange or pleasant dreams except we want to continue to live on it.