I can’t overstate enough how important watching Mulholland Drive for the first time was to my appreciation of film.
Movies can be many things. They can be an escape to a life that’s different/better than the one you’re living. They can be a way to kill time, either through explosions or jokes or romantic storylines. They can be
Or they can be twisted glimpses into a seedy underbelly and dark reality of the world we live in.
That’s what Mulholland Drive is. Its dreamlike structure and intentionally confusing narrative may be intimidating to people who aren’t ready for what Lynch has to offer. But when I saw it for the first time, I was hooked. I was committed. I was into movies in a way I never had been before. Mulholland Drive opened something me and transported me to a new world, not wholly dissimilar from the one Naomi Watts and Laura Harring find themselves thrust upon in this film.
Watching Mulholland Drive thrust me into the world of David Lynch. While Lynch has matched his level of weirdness and subversiveness in films like Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and Inland Empire (along with Twin Peaks), nothing has ever struck a chord with me the way Mulholland Drive did. To me, this is Lynch at his best, his crowning achievement, a filmscape approached by very few — if any — other films.
I don’t think I’m learned enough in film criticism to speak about this movie in the way it deserves. (Plus, FILM CRIT HULK already did this and did it better than I could ever hope to do.) But what I can say is that this film is absolutely worth your time to anyone who wants MORE out of movies, to anyone bored with the status quo of what Hollywood has become, to anyone who just wants to feel icky while watching something.