A Blue Rose Mystery, or, "The Thread Has Been TORN!!"
Boy | 07/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes - TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME makes sense. (And so do my review titles!)
But no - you won't understand it (or my review titles...) at first, even if you are a TWIN PEAKS/Lynch fanatic.
But as you probably do know, FWWM is the prequel to the popular, ground-breaking, yet short-lived TWIN PEAKS TV series. As such, you should not expect too many of the series' many unanswered questions to be resolved here, although, surprisingly enough, some actually are. But as I said, don't expect to understand much...at least not the first few times around.
Now even though I've stated that the film does makes sense, it should be noted that there are indeed some tantalizing threads left dangling. The problem is that one of Lynch's motivations for making the film was to ignite new interest in the recently cancelled series, and he was banking on the film's success to kick-start either a third season of the series, or an ongoing film franchise. No such luck, as FWWM was a categorical flop of the highest order, and was even reviled by most hardcore PEAKS fans.
The problem, as I have repeatedly suggested, is that this is not a film that can be understood or properly appreciated in one or two or even three viewings. Sure, you can still manage to appreciate the sporadic bits of humor (especially in the first twenty minutes), thrill to the bursts of extreme physical and psychological horror, drink in the dream-like Lynchian strangeness of it all, or just simply lay back and let the extraordinary images and music wash over you.
Yeah, you could do all that. But you still wouldn't understand the story, and the story - in my opinion - is far and away the most interesting aspect of this outrageously convoluted and strange film. And in order to truly understand what is going on, the viewer is forced to surrender their preferred role as passive, popcorn-crunching viewer, and take on the mantle of detective. Or perhaps "Special Agent" is a better way to put it.
Now if that sounds like a daunting, depressing, or just plain crazy concept, then you may want to stop reading here. But for those rare and wonderful oddballs who find this idea of becoming a sort of cinematic special agent interesting, please continue.
The most important key to getting started will be to understand and accept the fact that this mysterious narrative will not surrender itself to you easily or completely. Most of the clues you will need to locate and decipher are purely visual or auditory cues that you will not find by simply following the film's surface-level narrative. In other words, Lynch won't spoon-feed you any answers - you will have to most of the legwork yourself.
Still with me, brave soul? Cool.
I'll give you an example of what I mean by a "purely visual" clue. The opening credits scene is an extended close shot of a television screen tuned to pure static. Now most viewers will assume that Lynch chose the image of television static for its undeniably odd and compelling (i.e. "trippy") aesthetic quality. But what Lynch is really showing you, in a very subtle and oblique manner, is the concept of electricity as a source of power and transportation for the many otherworldly characters in the film, such as the murderous Killer BOB and the dancing little Man From Another Place (MFAP).
No, I'm not kidding. Nor am I delusional or on drugs or whatever else. Heck, I'm not even wrong.
Anyways, as the film progresses, the newly minted Special Agent (you, that is) will do well to dutifully take note of the many brief and seemingly inexplicable close shots of telephone poles and wires, electrical outlets, television static, as well as the bizarre visages of Killer BOB, little MFAP, and a host of other supernatural characters, which will appear and sometimes overlay images from the central narrative.
Special Agent You will also want to pay attention to the highly disctinctive whooping noise we hear at several key points in the film, because yes - the whooping is directly connected to the aforementioned electricity-as-a-conduit-for-otherworldly-entities concept (a favorite of Lynch's).
So. Bearing in mind that the film was meticulously constructed, and that none of the images and sounds ever appear randomly or haphazardly, the detective will begin to piece together a fascinating "secondary" story - a coded and invisible story, if you will - which helps to make sense of and enrich the larger "primary" story.
And have I mentioned that a key part of your "investigation" will be to watch, enjoy, and familiarize yourself with the original TWIN PEAKS series? Dirty work, I know.
Now I mentioned earlier that there would be some threads left dangling which, as I also mentioned, Lynch left dangling intentionally. Some of these questions that are never completely answered include:
Whatever happened to Special Agents Chet Desmond (Chris Isaac) and Philip Jeffries (David Bowie)? Are they dead? Trapped in the Black Lodge? Travelling the world through electrical currents? Um...
Was it the good Coop who told Laura not to put on MFAP's green ring, or was it the bad Coop? (Yes, there are two Coops)
Why does Laura insist that Bobby killed "Mike"? The guy Bobby kills may look familiar (and so he is!), but he sure as heck isn't anyone named Mike!
What's up with the talking monkey?
And...who the heck is "Judy"?
So my point is that while not every question has a definitive answer, most do - far more than most viewers ever realize. And, more importantly, there are enough answers to make sense of this extraordinary story while still leaving a few mysteries hanging.
The one-armed man was telling the truth when he announced to the Palmers that "the thread has been torn!", but believe me when I say that there IS enough narrative thread left for the persistent and rescourceful detective to string together one of the most complex and tightly tangled yarns in cinema history.
Next stop? David Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY - for seasoned Special Agents only.."
(A MUST) FOR ALL TWIN PEAK FOLLOWERS!
Ph.D Madsen | Denmark | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NO need or reasons to dwell more in the dazzling/grizzling metamorphosis of David Lynch, concerning TWIN PEAKS (series) which possess indeed such an encrypted plot, if any? without any sanity to begin with at least?
But: FIRE WALK WITH ME. Is somehow nice to follow up upon after seeing the whole series, & I must admit things become more coherent with time, when thinking back at the series in retrospect.
Even though it might add to a new nexus or twist of illusions? which Lynch is the master off! together with movies like "The Tenant" by Roman Polanski. Brilliant Lynch, each time I watch his movies, right now me and wife is trying to consume his INLAND EMPIRE with all senses alert, trust me that can be hard as well.
But this puts a better closure over the Twin Peaks (Epic Series) some might argue...
I tend to agree on this, that's why it's A MUST and five stars worth!
OH, Fire Walk With Me..."