Mulholland Drive (2001) was originally intended to be a TV series, but the producers simply didn’t embrace the idea. And the film was not well received at festivals. It was appreciated only over time, and for almost 20 years the audience has been trying to solve the mystery of Lynch. And he would not be himself if he did not leave riddles and puzzles.
Meaning of the movie title Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive is a real road in the mountains of Los Angeles. Here are the homes of many movie stars. The road itself is narrow and long, with many bends. There are abysses and the risk of head-on collision with an oncoming car, especially at night. Does it lead nowhere? It is unlikely, but you definitely have the risk of falling into the abyss. By the way, this is exactly what happened to the creator of the road, Chief Engineer Mulholland. He created a water pipe in the city, but in the late 1920s his career ended after the water pipe broke and several hundred people died as a result of the flood. Really, be careful what you dream about. This is one of the slogans of the film.
The Meaning of Mulholland Drive
David Lynch himself refuses to interpret his film in any way, but calls it a logically consistent and understandable story. But the director is quite pleased that they are trying to unravel him.
The generally accepted interpretation of the plot is simple: everything that happens in the first part is the dream of the main character. Diana dreams of success and great love. And through the naive Betty, the heroine of the dream, all the dreams of the aspiring actress Diana appear. This is also evidenced by the grotesqueness of everything that happens: the emotions of people, the kangaroo of the former resident of the house, the excitement at the tests … In the club that the girls visit, the host says several times that all this is an illusion and nothing needs to be believed. The director on the auditions also says the same thing: do not seek reality, wait, and it will come by itself. The same is evidenced by the absurd behavior of some heroes, for example, the loser killer, or the inadequate act of the director, who caught his wife with her lover. But reality slips through the dream. So, the murdered woman is a hint of Diana’s severe depression. Or a monster symbolizing the fears of the heroine. But in general, the dream looks carefree: dancing, success in auditions, a mistress.
But there is another interpretation: after all, it is not in the spirit of Lynch to make a film with such a simple overtones. The director simply looped the film and initially did not expect that he would have an ending. This is evidenced by the fact that at the very beginning of the film, an attempt is made on Camilla. Most likely, the director himself did not know how to end the film.
There is another interpretation. Diana, as is clear from the last part, is not the happiest woman and not the most successful actress. Surely, she had a lot of samples and a few not the most successful roles. And it’s entirely possible that Camille is one of the characters played by Diane in a little-known movie. In Mulholland Drive, the edge of the acting profession is shown, as if it was looked at through a keyhole (like the one in the Silentio club). Moreover, there is a direct statement that Hollywood is Hell (one of the captions featured in the film). And one more thing: by the end of their lives, both Rita Hayworth, whose name was taken by one of the heroines, and Bettie Page, suffered from mental disorders and memory problems. And in general, for actors, this is almost the norm. Judy Garland was not quite healthy, the mental health of Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey and Ralph Fiennes raises questions, Vivien Leigh was not mentally healthy. So, couldn’t Diana, after the hard given role of Camille, damage her psyche and get something like a split personality? Or maybe not even split. Pay attention to several identical women in the film: Camilla’s mistress, the casting singer, several other characters, and even Rita in a blonde wig. Diana strives to become whole again. It is for this reason that Camille in her dream is defenseless and completely dependent on Betty. But in trying to kill her, Diana kills herself.
There is also a version that all four heroines live in parallel universes and occasionally somehow interact with each other. And whose dream the whole film is is unknown.
The meaning of the ending
The movie has no ending, as you already know. He is fixated like a snake biting its own tail. If we consider the trip of the two heroines to the Silencio club and the disappearance of Rita-Camilla as the end, then we can perceive everything as the awakening of the main character. But there is one more thing. The blue color in the film clearly symbolizes death (the blue key that the killer gives to Diana, the blue box), and the blue hair of the only spectator in the club also hints at death. After the club, Rita disappears, and Betty finally opens the blue box and sees only an abyss there.
However, Mulholland Drive should not even be seen twice, but three or four times. Perhaps then Lynch will reveal to you some of his secrets.