I don’t have many personal rules in life, but Mulholland Drive leaves me wanting to break my rule about leaving the film alone and not wanting to drill the directors or writers about what they were trying to convey. Right now I want to track down David Lynch and ask him to please tell me what was going through his mind when he finished this script.
It is easy to find out that Mulholland Drive was initially created as a television pilot, and that is fairly clear through the majority of the picture. Many of the scenes felt like Lynch was holding back and I felt a little callback to some of themes and innocence of the early episodes of Twin Peaks. After ABC passed on the series, Lynch decided to go back, write the script again, and convert the ninety-minute pilot into a feature-length film.
There were several moment near the middle of the film that were clearly created after those meetings, specifically the sudden love scene between Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. After that moment, the language and theme became darker and heavier, tumbling down a path of destruction towards the climax.
I want to ask Lynch what more he would have written given a ten- to thirteen-episode season. I want to see the characters drawn out a little more. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for writers to be planning a series out only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them; the amount time in development and the relationships built with characters that will never go anywhere.
But that is okay. Mr. Lynch, in the unlikely case that I am ever granted a chance to speak with him, would probably dodge the questions like he has since the picture was released thirteen years ago. Either way, there is more that I would prefer to learn from him than to get some fanboy answers to unimportant questions; this is why I made that rule in the first place. Life, if Mulholland Drive taught me anything, is not worth pouring over the what-could-have-beens and the what-will-never-be’s.
Life might come crashing down like a train wreck, and if it does, plow through. Look back only long enough to see where you were headed and what messed you up, then move on. If you want it bad enough, you have to dust yourself off and be better for the experience. That’s the real trick, anyway.