Review: Inland Empire

There are usually two schools of thought when it comes to director David Lynch. There’s the attitude that he’s out of his fucking mind and everything he does has no purpose. And then there’s the other side which believes Lynch to be a genius. Count me in as one of the latter.

Available since last Tuesday (or Wednesday depending on where you live) is Lynch’s latest effort, Inland Empire and I can see where the argument for the former comes from. I think that some people watch a film like this and hate Lynch because he makes you feel dumb. But the beauty in a film like this is the mystery of the meaning. I can’t really say what Empire is about but I’ll echo Lynch: “It’s about a woman in trouble”. Oh if it were only that simple.

Laura Dern hits it out of the park with her beyond stellar performance. Lynch seems to able to get the best out of his principals like Naomi Watts in Mullholand Drive. And speaking of Drive, Empire works as a non-mainstream version of Drive. It begins with what seem like random images but the young lady at the start is very key to the entire movie. Dern’s introduction up until she has an affair with her co star is linear and pretty straightforward. Then everything clusterfucks. We’re taken on a trip through the streets of Hollywood, to suburbia and even Poland where magicians can show you things beyond comprehension. The Lynchian elements of red lampshades and blue hues are ever so present. As are the mysterious, unforgettable characters he seems to always introduce. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

I’ll save the analysis for a future post. Let me say that the movie is incredibly acted and engaging beyond anything in cinema these days. Like Drive it requires multiple viewings and you must pay very close attention to every detail at all times. If you can form your own interpretation after the first viewing, apply it to the second. Watch it once, then analyze. You’ll reap the benefits of the reward much more. Rating: 9.5/10

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One Response to “Review: Inland Empire”

  1. philosopherouge Says:

    I’m happy you enjoyed this, and I have to agree with you on how the film really allows for something of an inner “journey” discovering and piecing together the puzzle. I think there are some elements that will be consistent in analysis, while others will draw more on personal experiences and reactions. What I most love about Empire is the intense nightmare quality to it, it has almost incomparable atmosphere.

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