Sunday, April 19, 2020

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Movie Name: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Year of Release: 1992
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, James Marshall, Kyle MacLachlan, Peggy Lipton, Grace Zabriskie, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, David Bowie, Miguel Ferrer, Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland, Pamela Gidley, Heather Graham, David Lynch, Eric DaRe, Harry Dean Stanton, Lenny Von Dohlen, Frances Bay, Jurgen Prochnow, Michael J. Anderson, Frank Silva, Al Strobel, Catherine E. Coulson
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
After the ending of the show "Twin Peaks" in 1991, director David Lynch reconvened much of the same team, to essentially write a prequel to the events that took place on the show. Whereas the show was about the shock that permeated across the small community of Twin Peaks, when their young and beautiful prom Queen got murdered, and how everything in that city had an underlying darkness that wasn't immediately visible to the naked eye, the film went back in time and focused on the last 7 days of the life of focus of all attention, Laura Palmer. We're introduced to Laura, and her every day life, which includes going to high school with her best friend Donna, who herself, only knows a very limited amount of what goes on in Laura's life. Laura is dating her classmate Bobby, who is also her dealer, while secretly she has a relationship with James Hurley, another classmate, a sensitive and kind biker who truly loves her. Laura is also secretly escorting to get money for drugs, while shielding, when she can, the sexual abuse of a man by the name of Bob. As Laura and her world starts crashing upon itself, and she uncovers the truth about her years of abuse, the FBI is on a path of their own, where they're investigating the death of young women, which can be traced to Twin Peaks itself.
After winning the Palm D'Or at Cannes in 1990 with the wonderful "Wild at Heart", David Lynch returned in 1992 with "Twin Peaks; Fire Walk with Me", where the film suffered some critical backlash, following the immense success of the first season of the show in which it is based (and the somewhat less accomplished second season, which precipitated the cancellation of the show). Since then the film has been reevaluated, but having seen the film many times since its debut in 1992, it continues to be a film that dazzles and haunts, much like the best films from this director. If the show at its best, was an interesting hybrid of observing the social habits of a small town in America, and what was laying underneath it (much like what "Blue Velvet" had already touched upon), mixed with the oneiric or otherworldly aspect of David Lynch's imagination/universe, the film abandons that balance, opting instead for fully embracing this otherworldly state of existence, where creatures can inhabit humans, influencing their habits and behaviors. The film is a deeper dive to everything that the show had somewhat slightly hinted at, showcasing Laura's life as never before, someone who's been abused, who tries to deal with her pain by numbing it with drugs and a plethora of lovers, who merely see an idolized version of her, and not her real self. It's a film that also, and intently, departs from what the TV show set in motion, opting instead for a rawer approach, abandoning the whole quirkiness of the characters, much like "Northern Exposure". As usual with David Lynch it's a film that asks questions to the viewers, and effectively takes you on a dark journey, one where no character is exactly who they seem to be. The cast of the show is almost all back (save for Lara Flynn Boyle, the original Donna), but Sheryl Lee creates a solid central character, with good support from Kyle MacLachlan, Moira Kelly, Ray Wise and David Lynch himself. The cinematography from Ron Garcia is fantastic as is the score from Angelo Badalamenti. A great film from a unique voice in cinema, always worth revisiting.