Director David Lynch said on CNN, "They will love it or hate it" when asked about Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Lynch's creation is one of the few films which constantly bombards the audience with sound, color and violence and results in two hours and twenty minutes which are so dull it appears to be never-ending. I'm one of those who falls into the second category. This one will be on my worst films of the year list.
Who killed Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and what happened to her during the seven days before her death? These questions are answered in great detail in this film prequel to the Twin Peaks TV series. The film allows Lynch far more freedom with violence and sexual activity than the TV censors would ever consider. Twin Peaks fans will probably enjoy the recreation of the characters and they will respond when FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) comes on the screen. The film has also been successful in Japan, where the series is a big hit.
Lynch uses dream sequences and hallucinations to lace the story with mystery and confusion. He also borrows from a number of other films; the signed off TV screen from Poltergeist, the cracking of bones on a dead body from Frenzy are two examples. He also uses Lee's face enlarged and heavily made up like a silent movie character and a cadre of symbols such as a guardian angel who moves from the picture on Laura's wall during the final week of her life. The most important one is a picture which Laura travels in and out of during her last few days.
There is some dark humor at the beginning while the FBI investigates a similar murder which occurred a year before, but mostly Lynch bombards the audience with irritating music and sound. Unlike Blue Velvet which was repulsive and compelling at the same time, the whirlwind of disjointed scenes, violence and lurid sex fall flat.
If you have enemies that you want to torture, buy them a ticket with the understanding that they must sit through the entire film -- that will be revenge enough.
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