David Lynch makes me think about movie reviews in general. What makes a movie 10/10 instead of 9/10? What am I even doing reviewing movies in general? It’s important that everyone knows that it’s easy to give a piece of art credit where credit is due, without feeling strongly about it yourself on an emotional level. However, whenever an average critic give something a perfect rating, it’s not a reflection on film industry standards, it’s almost an intimate moment between the viewer and the film itself. Someone made a movie that connected to someone else on such a deep level, that that reviewer decides to exclaim that the film is perfection among thousands of others on the chopping block. This doesn’t discredit bad reviews, I do believe that something can be universally shitty but this philosophy lets you take a fucking breath from desperately trying to recreate the same experience someone else had with one of Lynch’s films.
Inland Empire is the most ambitious conceptual interpretation of hollywood and film making that I have ever or could ever conceive. It challenged my mind for three consecutive hours and reinvented the way I interpret his films.
This is one of those movies that tries its best to shake loose viewers along the way and that’s something I haven’t loved about Lynch in the past, especially with my first experience watching Mulholland Drive. I get tired of piecing together details and not easily mind you, but some of his work has already been built up into this fucking thesis about knowing real film and if you don’t understand it, “stick to fucking Paul Blart: Mall Cop“. This one really isn’t about a matter of understanding though and trust me, no one is going to understand this film completely whether it’s on their 1st or 20th viewing.
Despite its confusion though, it’s absolutely brilliant. I mean literally one of the most engaging three hour acid trips I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing through film. There are definitely specific scenes that websites themselves will be dedicated to explaining but for me, I finally learned how to watch Lynch films and that’s to just fucking watch them; experience them.
This movie, with all my praise, isn’t an easy watch. It has a non-linear narrative, switched perspectives, levels of reality and ultimately is a extremely dramatized projection of a lifestyle that the average viewer cannot and will not ever have the apparent displeasure of living. That’s not why you watch it though, you watch it to feel it out in its entirety. Don’t itch to look up an explanation halfway through, allow yourself to be dizzied. Allow yourself to lose control of the narrative and question what’s real and what’s not.
This is still not going to be for everyone, it wasn’t intended to be. That doesn’t mean that someone can “get” it and someone won’t; it means certain people can get something from it. For me personally, it was probably one of the best films I’ve seen in the past decade, at least from the horror genre. It’s a psychological horror like no other, with so much care and direction that you’ll find yourself straying from the storyline multiple times as you get lost in the intentionally grainy and distorted digital cinematography.
I didn’t find this movie pretentious in any way, in fact, there’s actually a decent amount of humor to be found, despite the entire experience feeling overly intense. If you decide to give this a shot, I’d suggest just letting yourself go for the entire three hours, anything less wouldn’t give you a fair assessment of what the film really is.