Movie #8 2021: Blue Velvet (1986)

Well. This was a fuckin’ wild ride.

Blue Velvet comes from the somewhat warped yet brilliant mind of David Lynch. Yes, the guy who created cult mystery TV series Twin Peaks. Starring Kyle MacLachlan in the leading role (again, also from Twin Peaks), the film starts when MacLachlan’s Jeffrey finds a severed ear in a field. What that ear leads to is far worse than he ever expected though, and he finds himself investigating the mystery in secret by himself. As a result, he gets mixed up with a group of criminals and their glamorous, nightclub singer hostage (Isabella Rossellini).

I knew literally nothing about this before going in. I didn’t even know Laura Dern was in it. All I had was David LynchKyle MacLachlan, and the knowledge that a lot of people liked it. I suggest you stop reading this and do the same. By that, I mean go in blind. Stop reading this right now if you’ve not seen the movie, and watch it while you’re still in the dark.

How do you even describe Blue Velvet? A dark, broody, psychosexual neo-noir mystery thriller doesn’t even cover it. It’s simply insane, with a plot that will keep you guessing at every turn. Bravo on that script, Lynch, it is truly original… yet somehow completely plausible.

Although the soundtrack can get a little overbearing at times, it adds a sense of enigma and ominousness that keeps you all the more interested throughout. And the choices of popular music? Brilliant. The biggest highlight is Roy Orbison‘s In Dreams, but I won’t go into it so as not to spoil.

There are some great performances here, including that of Laura Dern’s incredibly eighties hair. But the stand out is undoubtedly Dennis Hopper. He shows such range despite his role being low on screen time, making such an excellent villain. I loved him before this movie, but now I simply want to see everything he ever starred in.

Stylised insanity. What an aesthetic. It’s a tad longer than I wanted it to be, but Laura Dern and Isabella Rossellini perform way better than they even need to, and end up being the glue the holds the movie together.

I wouldn’t say it’s something I’ll think about day to day, but it’s pretty unmissable stuff due to its crazy narrative and wonderfully framed action. Definitely not to be sniffed at.

Blue Velvet is available to rent for £3.49 on Amazon.

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