Head to Head – Mulholland Drive

Welcome to the latest edition of our newly revamped Head to Head feature, in which our Quickflix critics take on our readers in a rip-snorting battle to the death! You pick the film, and we pick the fight!

This week we received a baffling attack on the baffling David Lynch film Mulholland Drive from Patrick Kok. For his troubles, he received a free pass to the upcoming remake of Fame. If you would also like to win free movie tickets, send your controversial mini-reviews to us here!

Patrick Kok will argue AGAINST the film, while Quickflix critic Simon Miraudo will argue FOR it. Let us know in the comments section below who you agree with. Spare no vitriol! Choose your side! There can only be one winner!

Patrick Kok1/5

Be warned. Going down Mulholland Drive takes you nowhere. The movie that causes the biggest rift among movie buffs features an amnesiac woman surrounded by twists and mysteries. All very well and interesting until she looks into a little blue box and starts making out with her roommate Naomi Watts and suddenly it’s like the Sun Rises in the West and I’m all disoriented. Originally conceived as a TV pilot, Mulholland Drive was shafted but director David Lynch continued shooting to make it into a feature film. That’s when the carefully constructed mystery unraveled into an exasperating and confusing self-indulgence that goes nowhere. Lynch is famous for doing weird stuff, but this is taking it to an unacceptable extreme. A responsible director cannot go off the edge to feed his own twisted idea and expect his audience to jump without a safety net. Despite the gorgeous visuals, this is really a lesson in infuriation, and I challenge anyone to give me a cohesive, logical account of what really happened.

Patrick, prepare to get schooled, Miraudo-style! Yes, Mulholland Drive is infuriating, confusing and certainly one of the most debated films amongst fans of cinema. It is also one of the greatest films of all time. No question. David Lynch turned an already intriguing television pilot into a devastating love story that feels more like a terrifying fever dream than a cohesive narrative (and I mean that as a compliment). Featuring two stunning performances from Naomi Watts and plenty of Lynch’s trademark terrifying imagery, Mulholland Drive (love it or hate it) is sure to permeate your mind and live there for all eternity.

BONUS! Now Patrick, although I do not have an insight into Lynch’s mind, perhaps I can share with you my interpretation of the maddening events of Mulholland Drive. SPOILERS COMING UP!

Diane Selwyn (Naomi Watts) moved from her small town home to Los Angeles with dreams of hitting the big time. She falls in love with the vampish Rita (Laura Elena Harring), who eventually rejects her and dates the director of a film they are both competing for roles in. Diane is unable to find the success she had always dreamed of and falls into a pit of drug-abuse and obsession. She hires a hitman to kill Rita and locks herself away in her home where she is tormented by her fevered, drug-infused dreams (hinted at in the opening shot, which features a head resting on a pillow). These dreams constitute the first hour of the film, in which Diane is still a naive young woman (this time called Betty), is recognised as a talented actress and also manages to win the heart of Rita. The guilt of having Rita killed drives Diane insane and she kills herself.

Also, there is a magical midget who orchestrates the casting of a film. I still haven’t worked that part out.


Now it’s over to you! Do you agree with Patrick or Simon? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you would like to be featured in the next Head to Head, and possibly win some free movie tickets, send your mini-reviews to us here at Quickflix!

7 Responses to “Head to Head – Mulholland Drive”

  1. I have to agree with Patrick. I'm a big fan of David Lynch but Mulholland Drive is an impenetrable indulgence. Si, your interpretation may well be spot on but I reckon most audiences will not be prepared to put in the effort needed to make sense of this mess.

  2. I enjoyed Mulholland Drive, especially the awesome hotness of Watts and whats-her-face getting freaky, and it's certainly one for those who like their films to be a puzzle wrapped in an enigma, but my personal favourite is Lost Highway. Man, that one freaks me out.But don't get me started on Inland Empire. I have never more viciously demanded my 3 hours back. I could have watched a roast cook dammit!

  3. OK, I think we have to point out an important fact. 99% of the viewing public is NOT a reviewer. We go along to a movie, pay our buck fifty (?) and prepare to be entertained. Or not. Personally, I love a movie that doesn't follow the formula. I HATE being able to say, 'OK, now she'll catch him in a compromising position, and the whole affair will be blown'. So, MA was a dream for me.The music was great, the acting fabulous, (even the dwarf) the story engrossing and the fact that I didn't know what was coming next was the icing on the cake. (Well, Naomi's little girl/girl scene was OK too)So, as a non-reviewer, I have to agree with Simon. It's a rare treat to have a movie please you on so many fronts, and all those people who say it's unintelligible can just go and **** themselves! (Heehee)Seeya at the movies…

  4. LOVED Mulholand Drive, its the only film of David Lynch's that I've "got".

  5. Sorry Patrick, I loved Mulholland Dr. It was a beautifully look, entrancing, moving, funny dream. Did it make sense? Not really. Does that matter. No.

  6. Patrick's review is well written and correct if you want linear narrative cinema….but Lynch (other than in 2 notable exceptions [The Elephant Man, The Straight Story])doesn't go in for that. Instead he sees a crazy American nightmare inside the escapist American (Hollywood ?)dream. This is sometimes put across inexpertly – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is one of the most tediously pretentious American movies ever made and Wild at Heart is the most overrated Cannes prizewinner to date – but Mulholland Dr. (even more than Blue Velvet) works and is probably the best summation we have of this writer-director's art. Technical standards are high and there are memorable performances from Naomi Watts, Lafayette Montgomery (terrifying as 'The Cowboy'), Rebekah Del Rio (singing "Crying") and – in her swansong and here a long way from the likes of Easter parade and On the Town – Ann Miller.

  7. I quite liked this film but I must also admit that I didn't get most of it (even after two viewings). So perhaps I am a film-pleb', but in the end I just sat back and enjoyed the beautiful imagery and the way the movie was crafted, and didn't worry about completely 'getting' it. Worked for me! 🙂

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