Mulholland Drive at first glance is a tale of despair. It is a journey into the elusive, the uncertain centre of human agony, interrupted and eventually severed by preternatural forces. Forces both divinely diabolic and diabolically divine. A journey through the most dismal and dire alleys of grotesquely tampered conscience. David Lynch in the most dexterous manner coerces us into the world of dreams. Lynch dexterously befuddles us between the two worlds of pragmatism and idealism even before the avid cinephile is aware.
If Diane Selwyn invokes a sense of melancholic pity within us then Betty does the more facile task of alluring us into darkness. Throughout the movie we are gripped as if we are voluntarily drowning into someone’s carefully worked out cahoots. The seduction scene is an almost proleptic leap into the realm of embellished nightmares. The actor would act sans any knowledge and turn himself into the whim of the omniscient director.
Never before in a film has the sombre side of the human conscience so beautifully been represented. One stark aspect of this cinematic wonder is personification and cross purpose concealment. Besides the preponderance of these representations create an elaborate portrait of diabolic psychological prospects like fear , greed, fantasy and lust.
Dreams and reality have always been an intriguing aspect for us. Mulholland drive introduces us to a completely new domain. A heath decorated with fragrant roses. In a nutshell David lynch preaches the inevitable juxtaposition of elation and horror in the flummoxed and ambiguous world of the subconscious. Sliencio is the immediate truth, the factual obscurity as one must endure silently. The initial accident transgresses the process of mortal erasure.
It is the inevitable fall of man. The death of imagination. Betty is the Everyman in Lynch’s masterpiece. She is King Lear, She is Meursault, she is the boss in Katherine Mansfield’s ‘The Fly’. In Mulholland Drive ,ambition is the bubble that drives the overreacher towards his/her eventual plummet. However unlike the resilient Prometheus or the valiant Sisyphus (one who is aware of his suffering) Betty must believe in the prototype of Success. Therefore Betty must understand Betty, become Betty for Diane must unlearn herself.
However, Diane underestimates her conscience. The entity that took her to the gates of paradise subsequently transports her to the abyss of gloom. The key to happiness for Lynch, must stay in the box of Pandora. It must exist in it’s very absence. One must abandon all hope and embrace the absurd.
The sacrosanct puppeteer(the man behind the screen, the messenger) would assign roles to all his characters. Few would unknowingly succeed and make nothing of it (Adam Kesher) and for the rest Life would be ‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.’ Silencio! For the loudest blow of the eternal oppressor must annihilate in numbing quietude. gesamtkunstwerk!