Going into a film by David Lynch is always a fascinating undertaking. Mulholland Drive is no exception, so here's an overview of the movie with Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux, explaining its meaning. If you're looking for a much more detailed analysis, do check out - Mulholland Drive explained simply.
Mulholland Drive is a complex film, a casket of visions and perceptions, an oceanic film, a rush of stories and dreams that converge unexpectedly. It's a logical visual language for those who know how to enjoy and appreciate David Lynch's erratic and tortuous cinema.
In his career, Lynch has directed indecipherable and intense films, such as Eraserhead, the first feature film. We also had a cult of grotesque-horror cinema, then The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Lost Streets, and the masterpiece Mulholland Drive.
Mulholland Drive is a street in Hollywood where a car accident involves a woman who loses her memory due to a car crash. This frightened and wounded woman enters a seemingly uninhabited house.
In the house, she meets the resident, Betty, an aspiring actress who has just landed in Los Angeles. Betty decides to host her and help her, despite the woman declaring that she does not remember anything, not even her name.
The woman decides to be called Rita, and together with Betty, they try to understand where she came from and the cause of her memory loss. At the same time, Betty participates in the casting of a film in which she dominates the scene and arouses great interest in the producers.
We assume that the film is structured in three parts - dream, illusion, and reality. And it's not always easy to distinguish the three parts, especially since Mulholland Drive has a non-linear narrative.
The first part is a dream that lasts almost 90 minutes. Reality corresponds to what happens in the last 30 minutes after Diane awakens.
After her awakening, however, Diane is prey to hallucinations. Sometimes her visions are real flashbacks, which deliberately break up the dramatic fluidity: the editing, a determining element within the film, hides and confuses details that are decisive for understanding the film. There are sudden flashbacks, and they can be distinguished from the rest by noting the appearance and disappearance of a blue key (different from that of the dream). The concluding scenes contain many illusions and tricks that Diane's mind plays on her.
The short explanation is that Diane is a failed actress who is madly in love with another actress who plays her. Grief-stricken, she has this other actress killed. Unable to deal with the guilt of what she's done, she hallucinates to the point where she kills herself.