Wednesday 19 June 2019

Lost Highway [1997]

Maverick filmmaker David Lynch conjured a quintessential Lynchian universe – a deliriously and hypnotically mind-bending mix of alternate versions of reality, hellish dreams and repressed desires – with the masterful Mulholland Drive. Lost Highway presaged that with such an eerie sense of déjà vu through stylistic and thematic resemblances, even if it didn’t have the same richness, that the two ought to be clubbed as companion pieces. And hence, with its wildly unpredictable neo-noir plot which boldly traversed a surrealistic Möbius strip – accompanied with dramatic shifts in the character and narrative dynamics – it certainly had Lynch’s signature all over it. The film sedately started off with a wealthy LA couple – saxophonist Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) and his coy wife Renee (Patricia Arquette) – in a polite but tenuous marriage; it’s obvious from the outset that Fred finds himself inadequate to his buxom wife, and, perhaps for that reason, also suspects her having extramarital affairs. The situation becomes trickier when it appears that someone is possibly spying on them, and things soon take a bloody turn with Renee’s murder and capital punishment for Fred. The narrative, then, took a startling turn as we see Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty), a young auto-mechanic who still lives with his parents, falling crazily head over heels and being drawn into a torrid affair with a mysterious older lady – an irresistible platinum blond femme fatale (Arquette), and the mistress of a dangerous gangster (Robert Loggia) – who’s possibly using her brazen sexual power to make the naïve guy do her odious bidding. And, when the two divergent strands collide, one realizes that the latter might just have been a representation of the cuckolded Fred’s repressed fantasies and desires.

Director: David Lynch
Genre:Neo-Noir/Crime Thriller/Surrealist Thriller
Language: English
Country: US

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