Wednesday, October 23, 2013
31 Days Of Halloween: Blue Velvet (1986)
Hello, Bloggers, I just realized that I have done 21 reviews thus far, and I have to do 2 today instead of 1 to make up for skipping a few days, so I'll do 2 and after that, hopefully I'll finally be able to do one each day if I don't skip any day, that is. Anyways, now that that's out of the way, I'll cut to the chase and get to my first review of the day. That is for the 1986 classic noir film Blue Velvet.
Blue Velvet is set in a picturesque-Americana town called Lumberton, where a college student named Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) finds a severed ear lying in his yard one day and that leads to him to trying to solve a murder mystery and he ends up falling for a sultry lounge singer named Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini) who is connected to the murder because of her abusive lover named Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).
What I Liked About It:
One thing that I really liked about this film was the magnificent direction by David Lynch. He incorporates a lot of symbolism into his direction and uses the "mise en scene" approach. For example, there is one scene where Dorothy is singing in a lounge and there is this blue light surrounding her which represents this aura of hers that is very alluring and seductive. Also, in the beginning, there is a shot of a squeaky clean perfectly manicured lawn and the camera then goes underground to reveal a bunch of insects, which represents the dark underworld beneath the shiny surface of suburbia that our main protagonist will end up in. Now, for those of you who are wondering why I decided to review this as a part of my "31 Days of Halloween" segment where I mostly review and discuss horror films, I chose to review this film because the scary part of it is how it showcases the dark side of suburbia and how even the most squeaky clean neighborhood has its share of stains. Not only that but Dennis Hopper's terrifying portrayal of Frank Booth, the famous ether-sucking psychopath with two different personalities, "Daddy" and "Baby", adds to the film's creepy factor. Another thing that I liked was the performances from the cast. Isabella Rossellini is astounding as the very complex character Dorothy who yearns to be loved and has masochistic tendencies because of her relationship with the dominant Frank who deliberately mistreats her. Kyle MacLachlan is also fantastic as Jeffrey, the likeable everyman who gets in way over his head when he ends up in the film's web of mystery and murder. When Jeffrey ends up with Dorothy, who falls for him because of how he gives her a gentle love that Frank never does, that is where you really root for him, in my opinion, and hope that he survives in the end.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, Blue Velvet is a stylish and mysterious psychological chiller that may leave its mark on you when the film is over, whether it'd be because of the inventive, colorful direction or because of Dennis Hopper's performance, or even both. This is a unique thriller that I would recommend to not just those who love to study and dissect film, but just love films in general.