Thursday, February 11, 2010
Mulholland Drive is a scenic road running along the ridges of mountains in the vicinity of Los Angeles, offering panoramic views of the city, and along which are located mansions including those of some Hollywood celebrities. The title of the film is perhaps an apt and alluringly feminine euphemism for a nightmarish roller-coaster through steamy subways of the mind.
The film opens when the intended murder of a woman on this road is interrupted by an accident in which she is the sole survivor. It closes with a suicidal gunshot, as if the confusing phantasmagoria which constitutes the bulk of the movie has to culminate in a reality too starkly real for ambiguation. For the rest, it does not seem worth the effort to go into the plot details since it is a loosely strung together patchwork of dreams and illusions, which is able to grip our attention by the violence, unexpected turns, fine acting and even a kind of nausea in this freudian netherworld.
A romanticized, impressionistic, gloomy, jazzily poetic essay on life set right in the middle of where things are supposed to happen: Hollywood.
Film directors have no more answers to the verities than most of us, so it it is a fruitless labor to search out the meaning of something which is not meant to have any. Which is why they generally are wise to refuse to risk interpreting their own work, as in the present case. Which is by not to suggest that something comes of nothing. For art is supposed to make us deeper, broader, more caring, empathic and understanding rather than wiser.
Roger Ebert's review