Blue Velvet (1986)
Named after a fabric that is extremely hard to clean
5 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Blue Velvet (1986) David Lynch. People either love his work, or hate him. Lynch's movies often follow a strange narrative and often require at least two viewings to get the clear picture. "Blue Velvet" seems to differ away from the path. Named after a fabric that can be created from any fiber and is extremely hard to clean, "Blue Velvet" is just that. The movie begins in the small town of Lumberton, it begins peaceful and normal. But the story takes a small twist when Jeffery finds a severed ear in a field. The film takes on a classic 1950-1970's young detective feel to it. The young innocent guy and gal trying to figure out where the ear came from. The movie takes a deep and dark turn once Jeffery hides in the closet of Dorothy Vallens and sees the dark side of life. Jeffery wants to look away, but is drawn too the darker side. The film begins to take a Jekyll and Hyde feel with day and night. During the day the film reverts back to the teenage detective feel, and during night it shifts to a world of pleasure, pain and danger with Jeffery in smack in the middle of it. Jeffery has become tainted by his nightlife and tries to come clean and leave it to the cops and leaves Dorothy alone, but much like velvet, it's very hard to come clean. The night life follows Jeffery home. Many other characters begin to take on a two faced feel to them, Frank dons a disguise as a well dressed man, the yellow man works as a detective and a mob enforcer, or Dorothy, who is only shown during the night time as an abused woman who has lost her husband and child. Dorothy is only shown twice during the day, when Jeffery visit visits the apartment and everything seems fine, and during the end of the movie when she is in the park with her son.

On the surface "Blue Velvet" seems to be a straight foreword romantic thriller, but there are signs that it may all just be a dream like Mulholland Drive. Mulholland Drive begun with a zoom in to a pillow and the sound of someone fainting, in "Blue Velvet", the camera zooms into an ear. During Blue Velvet there's several shots of a flickering candle in the wind. These shots are shown throughout the movie, but are heavily shown in it's entirety when Jeffery is having a nightmare after his night out with Frank. The dream comes to an end at the end of the movie when the camera zooms out of the ear, and the final scene is with Jeffery and Sandy are happy in a bright world much like the opening scene of the movie. Where Mulholland Drive was a dream about guilt, regret and anger, Blue Velvet could very well be a cautionary dream about slipping deeper into the darkness of Jeffery's own mind and what he's afraid of becoming.

As a painter, David Lynch knows that all the components are needed to create a good movie. Lynch's knowledge as a painter and director comes through with well angled shots and great color placement. Lynch's obsession with sound is also utilized, the perfect songs are used and fits the mood perfectly, carefully going from bubblegum pop songs to dark and menacing themes. "Blue Velvet" is the first movie where David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti worked together, creating a professional relationship that has lasted 20 years. Fans of Lynch's work will find plenty of Lynch trademarks within "Blue Velvet": Highway at night (night ride with Frank), red curtains (in the diner, also a Lynch trademark), women in trouble (Dorothy), use of dreams (see above), extreme close ups (zoom into the ear), and head injury (severed ear).

On the surface many people will find "Blue Velvet" to be one of the easiest Lynch film to understand, it could be taken as a romantic thriller with a few weird twists, or it could very well be something deeper and darker.
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