Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lost Highway (1997)

David Lynch’s Lost Highway is another foray into the director’s surrealist work such as Eraserhead or Mulholland Drive. I found it somewhat similar to the latter, which I thought was fascinating. While these films are seemingly random, vague, metaphorical and symbolic, Lynch prefers people to find their own conclusions about them. However, one thing I’ve come to believe is that Lynch may be indirect, but he is deliberate. This intent comes across strongest in emotional impact.

I found that in both Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway, the representation of altered mind-states allows the raw emotions of the character to carry through to the viewer. Metaphorical imagery is used throughout the film, which results in a direct emotional reaction from the viewer. So although Lost Highway is almost like two separate plots intertwined into one, and I’m not entirely sure what actually occurs in this film, it conveys the disarray and confusion of (who I believe is) the main character, Fred Madison.

In the beginning of the film, the viewer flies quickly down a long dark highway that out stretches before them. Obviously the title shows its also about being lost and the unknown; from the beginning the audience is thrown into the tumult of disarray. As I understand it, the main character commits a terrible crime, his mind can’t cope with it and creates some things in order to deal. The movie deals mostly with the reasoning and the repercussions of this crime. The intriguing fatale aura that surrounds his wife, played by Patricia Arquette, is indicative of how he felt about her-whether those feelings were truly warranted or not. The audience does not have a clear view into what actually happened; all we get is his scrambling, hindsight perception. This consists of suspicion, danger and death as Madison deals with what’s real.

It is often unsettling and confusing, although one may not always know why. One thing the audience may understand, and understand well, is that at least one person is in a terrible torturing fractured mess. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I think this movie requires at least two viewings for an encompassing view. It's also not for everyone.

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