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Blue Velvet

Review Written by: Joe Earp
Film: A+
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for profanity and nudity)

Directed by: David Lynch
Written by: David Lynch
Produced by: Fred Caruso
Starring: Kyle Maclachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Dennis Hopper, Hope Lange
Studio: MGM

What makes a movie great? Of course this is a question that will vary from person to person. Some will say that an amazing movie has to be entertaining. Others might claim it needs to have some kind of educational value. And a select few may even say a brilliant cinematic experience will need unforgettable acting, or maybe even direction. I for one think a really superb movie needs to touch a chord somewhere deep inside of you. A film doesn't necessarily have to be entertaining. At the very least you should never forget it.

So under this definition, Blue Velvet is a wonderful movie. Filled with extraordinary scenes that are truly impossible to forget, the film does something to you. Its hard to say exactly what. There's just something deep within you that's changed. For example, after seeing the movie again, don't you just start to see Frank Boothes all over the place? Don't you imagine what people are doing behind the locked doors of suburban houses? And whenever you hear Roy Orbison's classic "In Dreams" don't you just imagine a teary eyed Dennis Hopper, a beleaguered Kyle MacLachlan and a completely insane Dean Stockwell?

Blue Velvet ripped our ideal of suburbia apart. It made us realise that we are a world of closed doors. White-washed houses, plain picket fences...aren't they all just smoke and mirrors used to hide the truth inside?Many people have compared Blue Velvet to American Beauty and its not difficult to see why. Both films expose the lies and hypocrisy of middle America, although of course they both do it in very different ways. However, Blue Velvet is not just concerned with tearing Middle-America apart. It also questions our role as a viewer. In some of the scenes Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) watches Issabella Rosselini undress while hiding in a cupboard. Through the discreet use of a few point of view shots Lynch questions who we are. He almost wants us to delight in seeing Rosselini's bare flesh. Really as human beings, isn't it sex what drives us at heart? This is what Lynch sets out to question and he does so brilliantly.

The characters are wonderfully drawn out. Although Frank Booth the film's villain, originally seems quite two-dimensional several scenes mark him out as a human being. His moments of intense tenderness make him appear more evil, thus creating a character that will stick in your head for days after watching the movie. Frank really does love people and that's what makes him all the more scary. It iss tiny details like these that mark David Lynch out as a master craftsman.

In conclusion Blue Velvet is a wonderful movie. You won't forget it easily.

An image from David Lynch's infamous Blue Velvet.
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