After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
Essentially a prequel to David Lynch and Mark Frost's earlier TV series "Twin Peaks". The first half-hour or so concerns the investigation by FBI Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) and his partner Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) into the murder of night-shift waitress Teresa Banks in the small Washington state town of Deer Meadow. When Desmond finds a mysterious clue to the murder, he inexplicably disappears. The film then cuts to one year later in the nearby town of Twin Peaks and follows the events during the last week in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) a troubled teenage girl with two boyfriends; the hot-tempered rebel Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and quiet biker James Hurley (James Marshall), her drug addiction, and her relationship with her difficult (and possible schizophrenic) father Leland (Ray Wise), a story in which her violent murder was later to motivate much of the TV series. Contains a considerable amount of sex, drugs, violence, very loud music and inexplicable ... Written by
David Lynch's prequel to his TV Show 'Twin Peaks' drowns the viewer into the psyche of Laura Palmer, who was a crucial enigma of the series (but then again, 'Twin Peaks' is full of enigmas and riddles). The darkness of the human mind has been a consistent theme in many of Lynch's works. Other more recent examples include 'Mulholland Drive' and 'Inland Empire'. 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me' is brutal, stark, graphic and horrifyingly disturbing.
'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me' may not be as technically 'polished' as Lynch's other films and the low budget shows (but is not bothersome at all). Yet, the closeups have a very strong effect as it provides some evidence of fine acting. Sheryl Lee is at the centre of the film and she is astonishingly superb. Someone should give this actress more roles. Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, Kyle Mclachlan and the rest of the supporting cast are of note. The visuals, even though this is during the pre-CGI boom, are mesmerizing. And of course, what would a Lynch film be without symbolism. They are plentiful but I won't give my interpretation as they are best discovered first hand.
Many feel that the story is inconsistent but to me it all fits well together. Towards the end it is depressing, as the viewer has witnessed all the layers of Laura's agony in detail. It is not a comfortable film to watch. After all, she was just a normal American teenager who has experienced the worst of life and this movie grips the viewer and shows her life breaking into irreparable pieces. Yet, given the heavy theme 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me' is a film worth experiencing, especially for fans of the series and Lynch's other works.
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