quinta-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2010

My 20 Favorite Movies: #02. Mulholland Drive (2001, Lynch)

O número dois já não é nenhum estranho a este blog, uma vez que já falei dele aqui. A obra-prima de David Lynch, Mulholland Drive, ocupa a segunda posição desta contagem, se bem que poderia ocupar a primeira consoante a altura do dia em que me perguntarem qual é o meu filme preferido. Hoje, fica-se por aqui.

Em português? Aqui.


Number two is no stranger to this blog, as I talked about it a while ago. David Lynch's masterpiece, Mulholland Drive, takes the second position of this countdown, even if it could very well take the number one spot (depending on the day you ask me what my favorite movie is). Today, it remains here.

Having been originally planned as a pilot for a new TV show, Mulholland Drive was rejected. Due to this unfortunate happening, its director chose a different path and decided to gather the necessary funds that would allow him to develop the pilot into a full-length feature that could be shown in theaters. David Lynch, certainly, made the right choice, as the film went on getting a wonderful critic reception, garnered him a nomination for Best Director, and more recently, Mulholland Drive has been constantly crowned as the best film of the decade (2000-2009), topping numerous critics’ lists.

 Notorious by the fact that his movies often explore the themes of surrealism, taking an in-depth look into the world of the subconsciousness, David Lynch kept his trademark and continued to delve deeper in those same themes in this film, perfecting his technique.

Diane (Naomi Watts) moves to Los Angeles in order to pursuit a career as an actress, after winning a jitterbug dancing contest. In an audition Diane falls in love with another actress, Camilla (Laura Harring). Since Camilla is a promiscuous type of girl that bonds with other men and women, jealousy starts to take over Diane. During the shooting of a scene in which both actresses play a part in, Diane notices the intimate relationship Camilla has with Adam (Justin Theroux), the film’s director. In a private party, Camilla and Adam announce their engagement, making Diane blind with rage. In this state of mind, Diane hires a hitman to assassinate Camilla for all the suffering she has been causing her. Solitude, therefore, installs in Diane’s life, haunting her, making her slip into a fantasy world, in a dream, where everything goes accordingly to Diane’s plans. When Diane finally wakes up, she’s consumed by the guilt of her own actions, leading her to commit suicide.

The film’s narrative doesn’t follow a traditional structure, where begining, middle and end appear in a natural order. Its non-linearity grants Mulholland Drive a high order of complexity that requires a great level of attention from its viewer. After all, the movie is a true puzzle. However, the attention to detail that the director injects in the movie and the strong simbolism associated to diverse scenes make Mulholland Drive a truly original piece.

It’s a seductive feature. Its cinematography is exceptional and important to the creation of a mysteriously sensual mood. The original score by Angelo Badalamenti is also in tune with the themes that are approached in this film and plays a vital role in one of the key scenes of the film (the Club Silencio scene. The use of sound in this particular scene is significantly relevant to aid the viewer in deciphering what is going on).

I couldn’t talk about this movie without mentioning the extraordinaire performance by Naomi Watts. Mulholland Drive was her breakthrough movie and the film that opened up all the doors in Hollywood for her to have a stable and steady career (two years later, Naomi Watts would be getting her only nomination for the academy awards to date, for 21 Grams). Here, Naomi Watts displays all her talent by tackling two different characters that are polar-opposite of each other, in a completely natural and believable way. In one hand we have Betty (the “dream” character) – eternally optimistic, determined, humble, talented and noble. On the other, we have Diane (the “real life” character) – vengeful, extremely pessimistic, defeated, lacking talent and pathetic. The way Naomi Watts gives this 180º transformation in such a convincing and precise way is simply admirable. It is, in my humble opinion, the single greatest performance I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

Wrapping up, seeing (preferably, with an open mind) Mulholland Drive is a true journey to the realms of the subconscious, that works both with the reason and emotion of its viewers. Highly recommended.

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