David Lynch fan or not whenever you watch any of his bizarre, confusing, twisted and beautifully shot films we are always left with the same question “What the hell is going on?” The 1977 surrealist body horror Eraserhead, the modern day 1986 film noir Blue Velvet with its constant symbolisms of incest, the utterly mystifying 1997 psychological thriller Lost Highway and the most famously eeriest and baffling of them all the 2001 Mulholland Drive.
If you think that Mulholland Drive is just about a young wannabe Hollywood actress Betty Elms who finds a mysterious amnesic Rita who was involved in a car accident on the winding roads of Mulholland Drive, then I’m afraid you and I have watched an entirely different film. The true synopsis of Mulholland Drive can really only be explained by different theories. However even then it is a futile attempt to describe the puzzling story that is Mulholland Drive.
Betty’s spiralling journey of searching for the true identity of Rita leads her to discover the bitterly dark and dream crushing land that is Los Angeles. A linear or nonlinear narrative who knows? Mulholland Drive can only be defined into three stages; detective mysteries story, the dream crushing fantasy and finally delusion and madness. BE WARNED SPOILER ALERT!!
5. The Wannabe Actress Betty is Actually A Junky Diane Selwyn
For those that had no idea what heck was going on this theory is the obvious one. The whole idea of this theory can be explained in two stages of the film. The first stage is the mystery style detective genre with Betty and Rita. The second is the realisation that the detectives story between Rita and Betty as far more meaning. We realise then that half of Mulholland Drive is actually a fantasy that Betty has created.
In the real world Betty is Diane Selwyn. Diane became deeply depressed after becoming a washed up actor that lead her become a junky. The clue is given to us when Diane is meeting up with a hitman paying him to kill Camilla. The name of the waitress that serves the both of them is seen on her nametag “Betty”. During the fantasy Diane’s subconscious used this name trying to tell her what she has done.
This article was first posted on May 29, 2013