“Complex narrative” is a good thing. It makes us think. And it is surreal, surprising, and satisfying. Mittell explains that complex narratives might mostly be defined by their superior unconventionality (30). Mulholland Drive puts the audience in constants states of confusion, non-linear/ness, and mystery amongst many vital details, hints, and clues. I most definitely think that Mulholland Drive is a complex narrative… especially because it made my brain tickle.
Ultimately speaking, David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. is a complex narrative that blurs the line between dream and reality and exposes the inner desires and emotions of a worn dreamer.
The opening scene is characterized by a planned-murder gone wrong, turned car accident. In other words, the only survivor (Rita) was the planned corpse. Her chaotic accident sent her delusional and seemingly into the direct reach of super creeper Betty Elms. Betty is an aspiring actress who won a shanty contest back in her hometown in Canada. Lynch makes her to appear naive but zealous; perhaps a scary combination.
Rita and Betty begin a tragic romance with one another while they both cooperate to solve the mystery behind Rita’s recent past. Betty is excited and confident, taking control of Rita as if like a sister… or maybe more. After a brief time together, the two share a steamy experience that further confuses the narrative and relationships among characters. This is a complex narrative.
During my first viewing of M.D., I was completely perplexed until I realized that the first two-thirds or so of the movie was a dream. With the help of the website, Lost on M.D., and the classical interpretation. I think the idea that the movie was created to portray a split between dream and reality is accurate. Diane is overwhelmed by emotion that eventually invades her psyche enough for her to hire a hit man to “eliminate” Camilla Rhodes.
Mulholland Dr. is great in that it provokes thought and criticism. Seemingly at every scene, Lynch provides the audience with clues to reveal the story. Audiences are forced to rewatch the film to fully appreciate the messages and metaphors. Techniques such as delaying or altering the chronology of events seriously mess with the audience.
So, I’d say that I prefer complex narratives because they satisfyingly challenge and entertain me while they also gain my interest by initiating my senses and suspicions.
I’ve been told that I’m sometimes way too esoteric. Idk, maybe… lol
What is real? Are dreams real? Is reality real?
At the beginning of the movie, Rita survives the crash and assassination. Betty is the dreamer and apparently feels very different and complex emotions for her co-worker and lover, Camilla. Regret, sorrow, and depression might characterize Betty’s emotions in retrospect of the hit on Camilla. She so wants to be like her and/or be with her.
Is this real? Although not physically, but figuratively?
To me, this is what M.D. Was all about. What do dreams mean and are they real? Is it okay to dream?
An opening scene includes two detectives eating breakfast at Winkie’s. One if clearly distraught and embarrassed over a recurring dream but decides to tell his partner the story. He explains that in his dream he and his partner are eating at Winkie’s and essentially notices a crazy man behind the dumpster. The dreamer is terrified and states that he never wishes to see the man from the dream in real life or ever again. He wanted to prove to himself by going to the location in real life that no ugly crazy man actually exists.
The two detectives exchange words and the partner says, “so you came to see if he was out there?” The wary one answers, “to get rid of this god awful feeling.”
The two leave the table and journey outside. When the wary detective looks around the corner of the dumpster, the ugly man appears.
Are dreams real?
We may judge Betty and call her estranged. She was crazy for confusing the two realities. For living in a dream world to satisfy her desires. What she wants in reality is unobtainable and out of reach. She once viewed Camilla as a figure of love. That love though turned to hatred as unfortunate events for Betty ensued. Is the wary detective a fool for being worried about his dreams? Apparently for Betty, she was.
So, I guess it seems that you can pretend to be someone else in movies but astonishingly not in your own dreams?!