I like David Lynch. "The Elephant Man" was great, "Blue Velvet
unusual, and even "Wild at Heart" was entertaining in a David
Lynch sort of way. I like non-linear storylines too, but I need to be able
to tell that they are non-linear, which is why I was totally lost on "Lost
Highway". First, Bill Pullman ("Independence Day"), as a
jazz sax player, goes through this disjointed episode with his brunette
wife, Patricia Arquette ("Flirting with Disaster", "Ed Wood").
Second, the story changes cast and Balthazar Getty ("White Squall",
"Mr. Holland's Opus") is now being seduced by Patricia Arquette
as a blond, who is married to Robert Loggia ("Independence Day"),
a mobster. I sense that this is really about a shape-shifting schizophrenic,
and that whatever money Lynch has paid for psychotherapy was a total waste.
All women are evil. Men are desperate for flashy cars and evil women.
According to Todd Jorgenson, the story starts in the middle and loops back
on itself at the end. That leaves fewer plot holes, but is almost too plain
"Lost Highway" is meant to be a post-modern detour through the
psyche, "a 21st-century noir horror film". My theory is that
they started out to make one movie, got bored with the plot line, went off
on a tangent and are calling it noir to confuse the movie-ticket-buying
public. David Lynch and Barry Gifford fashioned this script from two words
in Gifford's novel "Night People": (take a wild guess!) lost highway.
But the press notes prove me wrong. This was a deliberate attempt at a
Kafka-esque identity exploration. They should have focused on poor Robert
Blake (TV's "Baretta", "Money Train") who portrays Mystery
Man, but we all know he is Death. He looks like death after that horrid
face lift. Or shift the story to Richard Pryor ("Silver Streak",
"Stir Crazy") who was at the top of the comedy heap, almost killed
himself with his drug indulgences, and now copes with a debilitating disease.
The bottom line is that if you like David Lynch's unique style - that is,
if you like expressionism - you will want to see "Lost Highway"
in its limited release. If you are expecting the same Bill Pullman and
Robert Loggia you saw in "Independence Day", skip this one. Rated
R. October Films.