Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Review | Blue Velvet
With the many DVDs I bought on Boxing Day, I bought a few movies and TV series aired on HBO. The movies I bought was a 2011 release, a classic, a best of the decade and a classic you would rarely found in retailers. A movie directed by David Lynch is that example and what I bought is Blue Velvet, a movie that costs $13 to buy and had I didn't, I would have to try harder to find that movie at any Best buy not for $13, but for more than that price. So for anyone reading who've heard the release of the movie on Blu-Ray, I didn't buy it. Sorry
Blue Velvet is my introduction to David Lynch, a director that always interested me because of his cult filmmaking, special use of visuals, complex plotlines and the heavy use of surrealist imagery in his movies. The filmmaker had influenced many famous directors including Quentin Tarantino, Darren Aronofsky and Stanley Kubrick. Lynch is now known to some Internet scavengers, for those shorts about iPhones, how to get angry and that weird piece of music he recorded called 'Crazy Clown Time'. I would try to scavenge for Mullohand Drive, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man and Lost Highway any time soon at a small rate these movies would be available in any shop.
Kyle MacLachlan plays Jeffery Beaumont, a young man working at his father's hardware store who discovers a severed ear on the field while on a walk. He gives it to Detective Williams to indicate that there's a crime happening in the town of Lumberton, which is usually peaceful and quiet. His daughter Sandy comes along to help him. She suggests that a nightclub singer Dorothy Valens (Isabella Rossalini) may have a connection with the ear and Jeffery, reluctantly enters her apartment, in which he discover how disturbed she is following an accidental encounter and how she's abused by a oxygen-addicted sadist Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).
Blue Velvet is the average Lyncherian film. It has all the icy visual elements, extremely weird character and plot devices you should find... with one exception. This is his most straightforward movie he made to date and it only require one interpretation instead of more. It doesn't feel disjointed, but some of the characters and framework may tip you off because of how it's shown to you. They act in a disturbingly awkward manner, but at the same time you wanted more whether or not you want to see what the movie's up to next.
The meticulous aspect of Blue Velvet is Lynch's obsession with motifs. And these are coming from all angles of noir. The detectives, the foreshadowing and the mystery. Some of the pivotal moments contain these motifs including Jeffery hiding under the closet with the shades luminescent to his point of view of Dorothy Valens which represents both curiousity and voyeurism as she's about to undress; the moment when Frank's gang listens and lip-syncs Roy Orbison's In Dreams shows how disturbing these people are put down and what Jeffery is going to be in for the ride
Blue Velvet packs in a punch in the last 20 minutes with a tension and twist building climax between Jeffery and Frank, but before that, we see Jeffery already entangled into a love triangle between him, Sandy, Dorothy and Frank (who's apparently not romantically involved with her, but uses her like a wallet).
For that matter, I really loved how David Lynch carries the film, but I also loved the performances. Kyle MacLachlan is fantastic as Jeffery who enter into the world that juxtapose what he see on the surface. But the ones who stands out are Isabella Rosselini and Dennis Hopper who are both damaged and acts inhuman. Rosselini's Dorothy, who like Jeffery, is trapped from Frank resulting her to tempt Jeffery into doing really horrible things to her. Hopper's Frank is so frightening, he's like Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange except if you're literally close to him, you're more likely to have your face bruised and be abandoned in a desert.
I wouldn't really recommend this film to anyone who is not a film fan, but if you're tolerable to the avant-garde, surreal and weird stuff or you want to explore more of Lynch's work, then this is a movie you should definitely watch. Blue Velvet is surreal, frightening but at the same time and ultimately it's a movie that's for me. A person who likes into movies that are filled with articulate details. It's rivetly crafted, but beautifully doomed.