Mulholland Drive

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By Carmen Dukes

"A love story in the city of dreams" is how writer-director David Lynch (Lost Highway, Blue Velvet) describes his latest flick Mulholland Drive. Originally a two-hour television pilot from ABC, Mulholland Drive was canned but later revived as a feature-length film. Lynch received the coveted Best Director award when the film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. A bizarre journey into a surreal Hollywood setting, Mulholland Drive is an exceptionally well-written story destined to engage viewers from beginning to end.

On a star filled night on Mulholland Drive, two cars are involved in a severe accident. The sole survivor, a woman named Rita (Laura Harring, Sunset Beach), escapes with bruises and temporary amnesia. Led by the illuminating lights of Los Angles, she finds solace in an elderly woman's apartment.

Over breakfast, two men (Patrick Fischler and Michael Cooke) discuss a reoccurring nightmare, someone or something lurks behind the dumpster. Curious yet terrified they venture behind the diner and their nightmare becomes a horrific reality.

Meanwhile in Hollywood Hills, Rita's refuge is soon disrupted when Betty Elms (Naomi Watts), the niece of the owner, arrives. Betty, an innocent, naive, wide-eyed blond from Deep River, Ontario, is out to live the Hollywood dream.

Although startled to find Rita in her aunt's apartment, Betty feels obligated to help her. She briefly puts her acting aspirations on hold and the two women search for clues to spark Rita's memory. An attraction to each other develops, and their bond deepens on an emotional and very sexual level.

Adam, (Justin Theroux), is a young director whose world has also been disrupted. The outcome of his current film project is being spearheaded by mobsters, mobsters who are wheelchair bound and demand picture-perfect espressos. Sounds ludicrous? His wife is cheating on him with Billy Ray Cyrus! After a visit from a cowboy, Adam, disheveled and dumbfounded, is informed that in order to return to some degree of normalcy, Adam must cast a particular actress.

Things, however, are far from normal. With forty-five minutes left in the film, these seemingly unrelated plots are combined, altered, and twisted to mind-blowing proportions. Actors reappear as different characters, and the plot thickens. A very rich emotional story about envy, depravity, and love unfolds right before our eyes.

Mulholland Drive is truly a masterpiece. The film possess so many impressive qualities. Outstanding acting, originality, and beautiful imagery are just a few. With unmatched precision, David Lynch eloquently draws us out of the reality of one world and into a surprising dreamscape.

Without a doubt, viewer's opinions on this film will be varied. But nonetheless, Mulholland Drive will appeal to anyone searching for thrilling, unconventional, and entertaining filmmaking.