Blue Velvet (1986)
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell
Viewing Method: HBO Go
Reviewed By: Adam Griffith
Jeffrey (MacLachlan) is called back to his old neighborhood following a family medical emergency. Lumberton is a sleepy, bucolic place filled with white picket fences, flower gardens and smiling firemen. While the town looks like something out of an episode of Leave it to Beaver or a republican’s wet dream, not everything is as it is initially appears in Lumberton.
While walking near a field, Jeffrey decides to toss a few rocks at and empty glass soda bottle. This small act of mischievousness is the first step in the unravelling of the beautiful facade that envelops Lumberton. For rocks are not all that Jeffrey discovers in this field. A severed human ear covered with ants is strewn amongst the grass and rocks. Yes you heard me right a severed human ear. Is that green mold? ewwww!
Jeffrey takes the ear to a police detective that he knows in town, who also happens to be the father of high school girl Sandy Williams (Laura Dern). The attraction between Sandy and Jeffrey is immediately evident. Sandy soon provides Jeffrey with details about the severed ear case that her father is working on. As expected, Sandy and Jeffrey are soon embroiled in both a heated romance and an investigation into the mystery of the severed ear. As this mystery deepens our two lovers discover more and more secrets hidden just below the surface of Lumberton.
Jeffrey and Sandy’s investigation introduces us to a cast of eccentric and dysfunctional characters. Among the assembly of oddballs is Dorothy Vallens (Rossellini) a lounge singer with a secret, who our investigators begin to follow and observe. Shortly, we meet Frank Booth (Hooper) a leather jacket wearing, foul mouthed, nitrous inhaling criminal. While probing the town’s secrets and attempting to solve the riddle of the ear, Jeffrey and Sandy learn as much about their own wants and desires as they do about anything else.
Blue Velvet is one of the more accessible films in David Lynch’s filmography. While many of the usual Lynch trademarks are present, in an somewhat unusual step for a Lynch film, the plot is fairly linear. That is not to suggest in anyway that the film is mainstream . Quite the contrary, Blue Velvet is a strange neo-noir film, filled with sexual depravity, drug use, and violence, all coated with a layer of biting satire. One of the outstanding things about the film is the amazing performances by Dennis Hopper as an unforgettable Frank Booth and the brave turn as Dorothy Vallens by Isabella Rossellini. While some folks may find the subject matter in this twisted Hardy Boys mystery too tough to handle, I absolutely loved this film. I am giving this film three severed ears covered with mold.