Mulholland Drive is a David Lynch film, which means that invariably after watching it, some of your friends will admit that they were utterly confused by the film, while others will try to explain exactly what it meant. It also means that you can expect to watch, enchanted, as sensuously filmed scenes come and go without revealing their purposes. You will find yourself simultaneously enraptured and perplexed, horrified and utterly absorbed. Characters come and go, and music hovers in the background like a fog that the dialogue must navigate through.
Responsible for such moody classics as Elephant Man and Blue Velvet, as well as the phenomenal cult television series Twin Peaks, Lynch filmed the first part of Mulholland Drive as another TV pilot. But horrified, or maybe confused, by what they saw, ABC executives decided not to take a risk with the American public. So the pilot -- badly edited and not finished -- made the rounds through Hollywood, generating buzz and eventually attracting the backing of Lynch's long-time French producers. Not knowing how his tale of forgotten identity and sinister Hollywood power struggles was going to resolve, Lynch sat down and dreamed the film's resolution in approximately a half-hour.
Now his "love story in the city of dreams" that involves an eyebrow-less cowboy, a petulant film director, a struggling actress, a femme fatale, Billy Ray Cyrus and a mysterious blue key can be watched at home over and over again. Which is exactly the type of tribute Mulholland Drive deserves, although it's had its share of accolades. Lynch received an Academy Award nomination, as well as the much more haute Best Director award at Cannes, but leading actress Naomi Watts was egregiously overlooked for her performance -- quite possibly the year's best and most surprising acting job.
The DVD production is fantastic, which is good, considering the richness of Lynch's colors and sound design. And he has wisely opted not to include a director's commentary. That would only ruin viewers' enjoyment of this movie -- which might not make complete sense, but certainly makes some sort of sense. The only flaw is that the DVD does not have chapter markers, which means that viewers are unable to jump to specific points in the film. And that doesn't make any sense at all.