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Hitchcock would be proud of this movie. Even when nothing happens, it is suspenseful. Director David Lynch overuses a few cheap thrill tricks here and there, but he intersperses them with other cinematographic techniques to keep it from becoming obtuse.
Altogether surreal, this movie is like waking up and remembering most of a dream but not enough to make it sensible. I am still trying to figure it all out and will probably have to see it again to catch things I missed and which may help me understand it better. It is a very detailed plot that very slowly comes together, so you must be patient and pay attention. Get your bathroom trip out of the way before it starts. And yet, the plot is overshadowed by the theme, the mood, the character development, and the filming techniques.
The dual roles of the main actress, Naomi Watts, showcase her enormous talent. That is, when I could get my eyes off of her co-star. What an acting pair.
Lynch surprises throughout the movie with unusual camera angles, the length/timing of editing cuts, jumping back and forth between scenes. Combined with smart use of music and sounds, it all helps to build suspense in our minds, doubtless a major objective of the director. Well, he kept me on the edge of my seat, even had me talking to the actors to be careful here, and not be so naive there. You know, the kind of stuff you want to smack your kids for doing at the movies.
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