Lost Highway – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Lynch fans rejoice! One of his greatest films, Lost Highway, is now available on DVD!

David Lynch has always been known for his strange and unusual films and Lost Highway is the epitome of everything that Lynch stands for. From its non-linear story to its confusing dialogue and uncomfortable moments of silence if you want to know what Lynch is all about this is the film to watch.

Beneath all the confusion and mystery and overall strangeness, Lost Highway is a story about relationships and betrayal. Fred (Bill Pullman) is a jazz musician in a rocky relationship. Things are exasperated by strange tapes that appear on his doorstep and show Fred and his wife Renee (Patricia Arquette) sleeping in bed. Another with Fred meeting with the mysterious man in black (Robert Blake) doesn’t help things either. Finally Fred finds Renee dead and he ends up going to prison for it. And while that could be an entire film in of itself, here it is only the first half.

This is where things get really strange. One morning when the guard (Henry Rollins) goes to check on Fred in his cell he finds Pete (Balthazar Getty) sitting in there instead. Pete is released and embarks upon a very bizarre journey as he begins an affair with Alice (also Arquette). Alice is involved with a mobster named Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia) and some how all of this comes back to the problems between Fred and Renee.

One of the more telling lines in the film is when Fred tells two detectives that he prefers to remember things his own way. How he remembers them, not necessarily the way they happened. That could pretty much be the keystone of the entire film.

As one might suspect no one is who they seem and just when you think you’ve got things figured out something else gets thrown in to confuse you. I remember when this film was first released back when I was in college my friends and I would have many a drunken evening trying to dissect this film and figure it all out. At the time we came up with some answers that made us pretty proud of ourselves, but I don’t’ remember what they are now. So you’ll just have to figure that part out for yourselves.

But that is part of the appeal and charm of Lynch films. He leaves much of the story up to interpretation and many of the images and line of dialogue are more symbolism for something bigger than their meaning in the actual story. One of the drawbacks of Lynch films though, is that sometimes it seems not even he knows the deeper meaning.

Lost Highway is one of Lynch’s more visual solid films. From the opening credits of the dark speeding road with credits flying in all serenaded by David Bowie you can see the crisp vibrant style that he is going for here and he succeeds admirably. Lynch has yet to make a film to match this one since.

The performances are very fine as well. In the first twenty minutes Bill Pullman says more with his facial expressions then any of Lynch’s perplexing dialogue. Plus there is a cornucopia for wonderful cameos: Gary Busey as Pete’s dad, Richard Pryor as Pete’s boss, Henry Rollins as a prison guard and of course Robert Blake in his last screen role as the Mystery Man.

With a beautiful visual style, great acting and an intriguing story this is one of Lynch’s better films. If you’re a fan you already know this and if you’ve never seen a film of his this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. This is a great looking film and the transfer here is fantastic. Sounds really good as well.

Sadly this disc has nothing to offer. I guess Lynch fans should just be happy the film is available.

This easily one of Lynch’s top five best films and as it’s been out of print for a long time it’s nice to see it available again. Sadly there are no special features, which I was really hoping for. Being as it’s taken this long just to get the movie I doubt there will be another addition any time soon. So if you plan on buying it might as well get it now.

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Focus Features presents Lost Highway. Directed by David Lynch. Starring Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette and Balthazar Getty. Written by David Lynch & Barry Gifford. Running time: 145 minutes. Originally released in 1997. Rated R for bizarre violent and sexual content and strong language. Released on DVD: March 25 2008. Available at Amazon.com.

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