Today, I thought I would share a review of a film you may not have seen. There aren’t many people making great movies. But one man who’s made more than his fare share (and had more than his fair share of commercial failures) is David Lynch.
So without further ado here is my review of LOST HIGHWAY.
LOST HIGHWAY (1997)
A jazz saxophonist is (wrongly?) convicted of murdering his wife. He is imprisoned. He wakes up in the morning as a different person, a young mechanic. The authorities are baffled and release him. He becomes involved in an affair with another woman, the wife of a gangster who looks just like the first man’s wife…
What does it mean? Don’t look for straightforward answers. Although it looks like a Hollywood movie, ‘Lost Highway’ is anything but. This is cinema deconstructed. What is a story? What is art? Surface meanings are stripped away and what we are left with is…
Director David Lynch and his co-writer Barry Gifford again create a frustrating, mesmerizing, entertaining, visceral, daring Chinese puzzle of a movie. But the twist here is that the puzzle has no solution. More introverted than epic, it had critics and audiences confused upon its release. Searches for story will disappoint. This is a movie that knows it is a movie and toys with the viewer like a cat with a mouse.
“Lost Highway” also plays with genre, most notably the kind of noir 40s movies that eventaully spawned Hitchcock’s masterpiece “Vertigo”. But “Lost Highway” goes beyond them. The writers are not afraid to let go of plot, drawing attention to the artificiality of a narrative that both illuminates and conceals. This is a movie that pushes the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. Is it intended or not? Does it matter? Like the rest of the film, this only raises questions without answers.
Bill Pullman and Balthazar Getty are the two faces of the same man (or is he?). Patricia Arquette is dazzling as Renee/Alice. But arguably Robert Loggia steals the show with impeccable comic timing as a ridiculously vicious gangster. While Robert Blake gives his last performance as the memorably creepy mystery man with no eyebrows – a typically Lynchian obscure archetype.
I’m not usually a fan of postmodernism, but when it’s done this well I can’t help but like it. With sublime music and excellent performances, this is surely one of Lynch’s most provocative films to date. Well worth seeing.