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mulholland drive did very well at the cannes film festival .
as you can see from the rating it did not do very well from me at the toronto international film festival .
it may not be clear to the viewer why i am so negative on this film for most of the running time .
in fact it is an interesting mystery story told on the backdrop of the hollywood film industry .
toward the end of the film i think everything that has been built falls apart .
the film was to be a pilot for a tv series but writer and director david lynch did not sell his tv pilot and i think he decided that he wanted to do something else with it .
something else is what he did .
the film opens with a woman ( played by laura harring ) about to be killed in a car when a car crash saves her life .
she crawls away from the accident with a concussion and finds herself a bungalow with an unlocked door to sleep .
meanwhile young vivacious betty ( naomi watts ) arrives in hollywood from canada .
she wants to build a career as an actress .
betty is a little surprised to find a woman sleeping in the borrowed bungalow .
she does not know who the woman is .
she is even more surprised when the woman awakes and does not herself know who she is .
they fix on a name rita for her , but are not sure if this right or not .
meanwhile local director adam kesher ( justin theroux ) has problems of his own .
he is trying to cast one actress for his new film and is getting pressure from the producers and from crime figures to cast someone else , cammie rhodes ( melissa george ) .
these two threads are joined by a third one in which there is a strange and comic murder that goes terribly wrong .
there is also a strange character called the cowboy ( monty montgomery ) adding to the confusion .
in what was probably intended for the television pilot the film opens with a great vibrancy showing dancing 60s style under the credits .
a lot of mulholland drive starts out fun .
lynch wants you to know he could make an enjoyable stylish film .
he just chooses not to .
as with any david lynch film there is strange material added for little reason .
there are no earthworms , but there are some decidedly strange david lynch touches .
the film is a little long for the subject matter .
toward the end it gets into some heavier violence and sex scenes , clearly not intended for the tv pilot .
unfortunately some of the most important comments to make about this film would be spoilers .
i will not mention them in the main body of the review but i give mulholland drive a 4 on the 0 to 10 scale and a low 0 on the -4 to +4 scale .
mulholland drive spoiler warning .
i have rated this film fairly low .
you should read this only after seeing the film or deciding that you will not see the film .
david lynch is in large part a dark satirist .
most of his work is done in familiar genres but in some way shows their underside .
in mulholland drive i think he is having a laugh at the expense of the crime film genre .
what he does with this film is ( are you sure you want to read this ? )
playing off the audience expectations that there will be a simple explanation for what is going on .
the first 80% of the film he tells a simple multi-thread crime story with clues sprinkled throughout .
then suddenly at the end he turns the story on its ear with a large number of clues that appear that they should add up to something .
the audience expectation is that they will add up .
but he has given clues that are self-contradictory .
lynch wants the audience to argue about what they have seen afterward and come up with theories .
in fact , the pointers are noticeably contradictory and until i hear a better explanation , i think lynch is merely playing a joke .
there is a visual curiosity that was popular in the sixties .
mad magazine called it a poiuyt .
other sources called it a tri- pronged u-bar .
look at small portions of it and makes sense .
look at the whole figure and it does not .
this film is , in my estimation , the cinematic equivalent of a tri-pronged u-bar .