Mulholland Drive Review: What Does the Ending of Mean?

The Meaning of Mulholland Drive Movie: Plot & Ending Explained. In 2001, David Lynch’s unusual film Mulholland Drive was released. A lot of controversy always arises around the psychological pictures of a famous director. Lynch’s riddles make even the most intellectually developed and savvy viewers puzzle over the meaning of his film masterpieces and the meaning of the symbolism used. What did David Lynch come up with for the sophisticated viewer this time? What is the meaning of the film “Mulholland Drive” and what is the peculiarity of its plot?

Description of the story

The plot of the film “Mulholland Drive” is a series of parallel lines, connecting only at the end.

The limousine pulls up to the Mulholland Drive sign. The man in the front seat turns and tries to shoot a young dark-haired woman. Here there is a collision of a limousine with an oncoming car.

The woman remains alive, through the streets of Los Angeles, she sneaks into someone else’s house, falls asleep under the table.

Two strangers are talking in the Winkies cafe. Odin (Den) speaks of the fear of the monster from the dream. Both go outside. Dan sees the monster and dies.

Betty’s girlfriend comes to Los Angeles. She is an aspiring actress, the whole world is in her hands. Betty moves in with Aunt Ruth, who has been away for six months. At her aunt’s house, she discovers a dark-haired stranger who has been in an accident. Betty is not surprised by her presence and offers her help. The woman does not remember her name, comes up with a new one – Rita. Rita’s bag contains a lot of money and a blue key.

Director Adam Kasher refuses influencers to cast their protégés in the film. For this he is declared bankrupt. An unknown cowboy from an abandoned ranch convinces Kasher to go along with the mob.

What follows is the story of a hapless killer. For the sake of a notebook, he killed 3 people.

Interesting fact! In 2001, Lynch became the winner of the Cannes Film Festival in the Best Director nomination. Mulholland Drive.

Betty successfully passes the competition for the role of the main character in the film. She is offered to participate in another project, where she sees Kasher – they look at each other in love.

Rita remembers the name “Diana Salvin”. In the apartment of the only one in the city, Diana Salvin, they find a dead girl.

In the evening, the heroines get closer – a love scene is shown. At night, both go to the Silencio theater, where they see performances – illusions. Betty is shaking. She discovers a blue box in her bag. The characters come home. Rita, not finding her friend, opens the box with the key from the bag and also disappears. Aunt Ruth arrives and finds only an empty box.

Ending and hidden meaning

How did Mulholland Drive end? Diana Salvin wakes up in her apartment. Outwardly, she is a copy of Betty. She was dumped by her lesbian friend and successful career actress Camilla (a copy of Rita).

At a reception at director Adam’s family, Camille informs everyone of their engagement to Kasher. At the Winkies Cafe, Diana orders an ex-girlfriend to be a hitman. The killer promises to give the girl the key after completing the order.

The ending of Mulholland Drive is unexpected: Diana commits suicide. At the end, images of happy Betty and Rita appear on the screen.

Now we need to figure out what the meaning of the movie “Mulholland Drive” is. It seems to some that this picture is a set of incomprehensible, unrelated plots. So it seems to almost everyone at first viewing. However, if you look closely and remember many moments of the thriller, then the meaning of each character, each of his words and actions becomes clear.

On a note! David Lynch himself refuses to answer questions about the meaning of Mulholland Drive. Only in some of his phrases can one catch a fraction of the truth, which all fans of his paintings and film critics cling to at once.


The main and closest theory to the truth is the division of the film into 2 parts. The first, before Rita’s manipulations with the blue cube, is a dream, the second is reality.

Real life

In reality, Diana is an unhappy girl who was unlucky in her career and love. The heroine still hopes that everything will work out when her friend calls and offers to meet.

But who knew that a party near Mulholland Drive would be the scene of a disaster – the collapse of her life. Camilla – the closest person who took care of Diana, the only one who gave her his love and tenderness – announces the planned wedding with Adam. Therefore, MD becomes the scene of an accident in a dream.

After ordering a killer and receiving a key (evidence of a completed murder), the girl realizes that she did not decide anything by her deed. She still remained unsuccessful, unnecessary to anyone, unloved. But the right person did not become, the pain of loss got used to the heart even more firmly and a crazy feeling of guilt appeared, which disappeared only in a dream.

Many characters of the first part are at the engagement party: Koko’s administrator is Adam’s mother, the mobster is the man behind, the mobster’s protégé is the girl who kissed Camille, Adam remains them, Cowboy is a random passing guest.

The rest of the characters from the cafe are the unlucky eccentric killer Joe, the strange man Dan, who is frightened by a scarecrow from a dream. And the monster from here – just such, unhappy and fearsome, after meeting with the killer, Diana became for herself and others (Dan’s look, full of horror, in reality in a cafe and in a dream). The name Betty is taken from the waitress.


The first part is Diana-Betty’s dream dream. The beginning of the dream is similar to the real appearance of the heroine in Los Angeles. She is full of dreams and hopes, nothing disturbs her.

But here, unlike real life, then everything is fine – Betty is loved, respected, waiting. The heroine is in demand in the cinema, she easily manages to achieve roles. Another question is what she does with Camille’s methods – not only with the help of acting.

Betty’s audition scene reveals the hidden meaning of the film – venality, the extinction of modern culture, cinema, music. The problem is also voiced in the scenes with Adam Kasher, theater of illusions.

Camilla-Rita turns out to be alive – she has the money, which means Joe will not be able to fulfill the order – so Diana’s subconscious wants to escape from the truth.

Both girls start a new life. In a dream, Camille gives herself to Betty, she is grateful to her new friend (“Thank you for everything”). Adam got what he deserved – the director was forced to submit to the mafia, his wife left him, he fell in love with Betty – an absolute victory for Diane.

All the girls approved for the roles are blondes, not brunettes. Even Rita becomes a blonde after the discovery of a corpse – not only her inner world is reincarnated, but also her appearance. As in life Dayana became Camilla’s shadow, so in a dream Rita becomes a part, a reflection of Betty.

Meaning of the movie Mulholland Drive

Intersection of worlds and silence

Reality nevertheless reminds of itself in the form of a name on a waitress’s badge, scenes with a killer-pimp, the Silencio theater, where everyone directly declares – “there is an illusion around.”

The scene with the fortuneteller is an intersection with the other world, he opposes what is happening (“no, she did not allow you anything”). Aunt Ruth is dead, her spirit is in the fortune teller’s room (“she doesn’t want to leave my room, kick her out”). The fortune-teller also serves as a reminder of the misfortune that has occurred, invading the mind of the sleeping woman (“she said that something happened to someone”).

Silencio theater is a world between truth and fiction – it shows how unsteady our perception of reality is. It is impossible to say exactly what is reality and what is a dream, where is truth and where is fiction, where is life and where is death, what is important and what is trifles, what is black and what is white, where is noise and where is SILENCE. At the same time, visiting the theater is the final path to awakening, to the realities of life.

“Silencio” gives Betty a blue box – an image of the realization of the deed by Diana-Betty and the final departure of Rita-Camilla to another world. The blue key to the box is in Rita’s bag, only she can open it, after which she will leave for the world of eternal sleep.

On a note! The blue color symbolizes eternity, divinity, heaven. It is also a symbol of peace and faith. It is no coincidence that blue objects appear so often in the film: a key, a box, a woman’s wig.

The meaning of the ending of the film Mulholland Drive is that after killing her beloved, the heroine’s own demons do not allow her to live in this world – she commits suicide. Her image of the unfortunate and terrible monster dissolves, disappears. Only in the world of dreams and dreams Diana finds peace, tranquility – there she will reunite with her beloved and be happy. After that comes the divine silence – silencio. And as if the tragedy did not happen – everything is as it should be. Life goes on.

Mulholland Drive is a movie with meaning. And everyone understands it in their own way, passing through the prism of consciousness everything that happened in the thriller. One thing is clear – no one will remain indifferent after viewing.

Add a comment