John's struggle to get out of a locked room with a sinister secret inside.

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John's struggle to get out of a locked room with a sinister secret inside.

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12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Przyciemniony pokój  »

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"Where are the bananas?" experimental fun, sadness, and pretension in Lynch-land
24 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What experimental follies David Lynch loves to go into. And, of course, that's the prerogative of any artist with access to the equipment that Lynch has, and as part of how he goes about using the digital medium to put out ideas he wouldn't of had expressed out for everyone to see years ago. This one, however, shows what good and not so good qualities can come with the mental floodgates let open and with little cohesion. Darkened Room, which like Rabbits may have some connection to Lynch's magnum opus Inland Empire, has three parts to it, with the first two actually not bad at all really. The first, which is very random and hilarious in the vein of the director's absurd idiosyncrasies, shows a Japanese woman in her Tokyo apartment spouting off statistics about bananas, in a weird audio voice. Then, by way of the Japanese woman's 'friend', we move on to the darkened room of the title, where a blond girl sits, mascara smeared on her face, sobbing about something that no matter what she says in-between her cries, doesn't make sense. It doesn't matter too much, in this instance at least, that we don't know exactly why she's crying or how long she's been in the darkened room. The amount of emotional connection that can be felt though, and the subtext behind the words, make it something sort of special.

But then comes that last part, which feels MUCH longer than the other two parts combined, where another woman- another friend of the blonde girl- comes in and just talks and talks about something or this or that, and suddenly, like with a snip with a pair of scissors, the emotional connection is snapped, and what we're left with is Lynch's pretentious ramblings feed through and out of this other actress's mouth. In fact, this last part is one of the worst things I've ever seen from Lynch, as it committed something that I don't like seeing from the director much at all- as it doesn't happen too often for me at any rate- which is that it's dull and weird for the sake of it. Nothing gets resolved, and the end is just a 'huh' that isn't a satisfying one in the slightest. I was left with some good memories of Darkened Room, and some very bad ones too. In a sense it's Lynch working stuff out, via digital video and access on his website, and it'll either appeal to some sense or not. For me, it was both.


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