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.
This is the basic plot for David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. but really there is so much more that a basic plot cannot summarize. Mulholland Dr. is a quintessential David Lynch movie, It’s surreal, suspenseful and haunting. It’s also a movie that forces the audience to think. I endear challenging movies and this one had me completely immersed and invested in the story, thinking about every scene and even after three viewings I cannot completely comprehend it’s meaning. The film’s true mastery, lies in the it’s unconventional, complex narrative structure and Lynch’s dreamy direction (literally) which invited me to dig deeper, to uncover new layers, hidden references, multiple interpretations. This film is as psychologically profound as it is visually stunning. Once again David Lynch proves to be an absolute master at creating suspense, even when nothing is happening, he had me simply because of this dark and somber mood he was able to create. Naomi Watts is excellent in a particularly challenging role, watching the on-screen transition of her character made for an exciting watch and I loved her relationship with Laura Harring’s character. Justin Theroux is also very good in his supporting capacity as a film director in distress.
Mulholland Dr. is a twisty, suspenseful and haunting noir that left me both confused and astonished. It’s a film that goes against the grain to deliberately subvert the plot instead of connecting threads, it creates more and it’s this ambiguity in which it’s the beauty lies. David Lynch’s idiosyncratic vision comes alive on the screen and much of the film feels like a hypnotic trance. It’s beautiful, nightmarish and enigmatic, David Lynch’s masterpiece.