Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★★

97

A woozy, coked-out Hell fueled by unbearable, monstrous trauma. We as an audience are subject to Laura's turmoil, but the effect is ever-present, almost first person in regards to the sinister evil burrowing under the surface. Lynch inverts his own methodology by cutting the umbilical cord on the ironic distance. There's no Jeffery character for the camera to cling to. Voyeurism is no longer expressed through physical spaces separating the looker. Think Blue Velvet but from Dorothy Vallens' perspective; vulnerable and scared and violated and terrorized. If Blue Velvet dove into the idea of innocence being sheared in an environment previously conceived as simple-minded and sleepy, then Fire Walk With Me shows the inherent disgust behind every door and how the real atrocities can only be empathized with via intimate character focus. For the abused, even the sight of a father figure can petrify, and FWWM erases any escalating discovery or revelation for the audience by staying right by Laura's side, only eventually losing her when the camera realizes the inevitable and observes her run into the woods, passively re-contextualizing the show's traffic light inserts into a repetition brushstroke tragedy. Its true formal genius is that, like the audience, the film wants to stop the ticking clock, but it can't. Climatic elements such as haunting choral work and spinning, looping pans across dive bars, endless forests, and desolate train cars radiate the implication of Lynch confronting the savagery which he subverted. It's an apology letter written in splattered blood and wailing screams, pulpy neon and windy moonlight air, and Lynch is down on his knees, angry at a culture correlating Myth with death and soaking their soap-opera addictions in the very waters which rebel against it. Lynch tackles all of this and more in the span of 135 minutes, creating his own dichotomy by portraying the final days of Laura Palmer in doses of maximal rage and searing, trembling fear, but the quality remains redemptive, tearing into the sniveling underbelly of Man's abusiveness in order to grant America's small-screen sweetheart a happy ending bathed in angelic light and sincerity.

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