January 6, 2010


Movie Review: Lost Highway (spoilers)

I just recently rented the "Lost Highway" directed by David Lynch. I didn’t know what to expect, and I ended up liking it. It’s not for everyone. It’s a confusing movie that makes you think, and doesn’t have a clear cut ending, or a clear cut plot leaving the audience wondering “what just happened?!”. I actually had to view it twice before sending this Netflix rental back in the mail.

So if you’re a person who likes your movies tied up in a need bow, this isn’t for you. And depending on your interpretation this movie is linear or non-linear. At the moment, I’m not sure. I tend to lean toward a linear interpretation, but I have two theories and the second is a non-linear one. In addition, there seems to be a supernatural element, possible Doppelgängers and physical transformations.

Premise as per Imdb: Fred Madison, a saxophonist, is accused under mysterious circumstances of murdering his wife Renee. On death row, he inexplicably morphs into a young man named Pete Dayton, leading a completely different life. When Pete is released, his and Fred's paths begin to cross in a surreal, suspenseful web of intrigue, orchestrated by a shady gangster boss named Dick Laurent.

This movie can be broken into two parts: before Fred goes to jail and what happens afterwards.

Spoilers ahead…

Part 1: Fred (Bill Pullman) is married to Renee (Patricia Arquette) and suspects she’s having an affair. They receive anonymous mailings of a video tape illustrating that someone is watching them. These video tapes turn scary from just a viewing of the outside of the home to watching them sleep in their bedroom. Until the final tape of Fred over Renee’s dead body. Fred is then convicted and sent to jail (death row)

This is when things get crazy. Fred goes through some physical transformation and when the guards check his cell Fred is gone replaced by Pete (Balthazar Getty).

Part 2: Pete goes home to biker parents. He seems to have no memory (which indicates a clue). He has an association with Mr Eddy (Robert Loggia) who has a girlfriend Alice (also played by Patricia Arquette). Alice is blonde where as Renee is a brunette. Pete ends up having an affair with Alice, putting him at odds with Mr. Eddy, which ends in Eddy’s death.

We learn that Mr. Eddy is also Dick Laurent, who was the man Renee was cheating on when married to Fred.

Interesting Clue: When Pete is with Alice he sees a picture with her and the brunette counterpart (Renee – Fred’s wife). Also in the picture is Mr. Eddy/Dick Laurent and another man. At this point, Pete gets emotional at seeing the brunette version as if recalling the event. Yet he never recognized the blonde counterpart on first meeting. Later the police see the same photo and the blonde is NOT in it. My conclusion is that the blonde doesn’t exist. She is really in Pete’s mind. Actually, I think Pete partially exists. It seems as though Fred can transform to Pete, but Pete is just the other half of Fred. He doesn’t seem to be a fully fleshed person. Even his parents seem odd. Do they really exist?

In the end: We see Pete… then Fred as if Pete transforms back into Fred.

Important note: Throughout this movie there is a Mystery Man who seems to be pulling the strings. Is he the devil? Is he just an evil man? Or is he all in Fred’s mind?

What leads me to believe that this film might be non-linear is the end and beginning of the movie. It opens with Fred hearing through the intercom that Laurent is dead. It ends with Fred leaving this message on his intercom. Could this just be in Fred’s head? Is Fred a Doppelgänger? There are some who feel that Alice is in fact a Doppelgänger?

All in all, it’s an interesting movie with so many possibilities. I think I need more viewings, though I suspect I’ll never really figure it out.

Score 8/10


About Lisa

Passionate about movies and writing. Hopes to someday be a published writer. So when she's not staring at the tube, she's spilling her imagination onto a blank page.

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