Friday, January 21, 2011

Film Analysis

The film Lost Highway by director David Lynch reminded me of the film Fight Club in several of its psychological elements. I interpreted Lost Highway to be a look into the mind of a man who is in a psychotic state of mind right before he is put to death for the alleged murder of his wife. While David Lynch obviously leaves it to the viewer's imagination to determine what is really going on in the story, I believe the character of Fred may not have actually murdered his wife, but in trying to grasp the reality of what has happened before he is electrocuted, he creates an alternate reality that mixes with memories of the events leading up to the murder, which creates the circular plot of the film. The character of Pete is an alternate personality of David, similar to the alternate personalities of Brad Pitt's character in Fight Club. In both cases, the original character ends up working together knowingly or unknowingly with their fantastical alter-ego to achieve some kind of illegal goal. Fred has more than just an alter-ego, however, and in the end seems also to be following the lead of the strange Mystery Man played by Robert Blake; I interpret this character's existence to be Fred's way of separating himself with the murders that he may or may not have committed, as the Mystery Man seems to be the one pulling all the shots.
I find this film to be an intriguing method of documenting what the human mind may be capable of convincing itself is real- Lynch takes the viewers on a voyage similar to that of its characters, as everyone tries to figure out what is happening, and it what order events have occurred. In another similarity to Fight Club, much of the evidence that the main character has been somewhat delusional comes to light at the end, as when the police find a picture of Patricia Arquette's character that also took on two forms in Fred's mind. This last minute revelation helps the viewer make sense of things somewhat, in a manner that provides a good shock element as that evidence makes other things become clear, or perhaps more confusing...

1 comment:

  1. While reading this post I found myself wondering why it is that the alter-egos in both Lost Highway and Fight Club are created in conjunction with the commission of some nefarious act. I would be interested to see an example where an alter-ego was created to accomplish something good. It seems more likely to me that someone would develop an alter-ego to put a bad act out of their mind. I wonder whether or not the makers of the two films believe the same. I am also curious what the development of alter-egos says about human nature and people's ability to accept responsibility for reprehensible actions.