Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★½

David Lynch — Ranked

"Lately I've been filled with the knowledge that the killer will strike again. But because it is just a feeling, I am powerless to stop it."

Well, I've come to the end of my 2-week Twin Peaks binge, and I gotta say it was a great, surreal experience. I love stuff that falls into the "mindfuck" category, that makes me really think, and I'm so thrilled with what I got out of this show that I've been meaning to watch for ages. It's the perfect blend of murder mystery, soap opera, soap opera parody, drama, comedy and just general weirdness via the quirky sense of humor of David Lynch.

Overall, I think the experience of the show was great. Of course, the show was at its best when investigating the Laura Palmer murder and sort of devolved into a silly exercise once it was solved in season 2. This has to do with studio pressure to wrap it up and you can tell Lynch and Co. just kind of threw things up on screen without a plan to resolve them. As a result, many characters are weak and many sideplots are pointless.

Then I popped in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a prequel made after the fact that is the subject of much divisiveness among fans of the show. The experience of the movie is very confusing, disturbing and surreal. It's nice to see some of the show regulars back again, but the movie overall left me cold and distant from the original show.

First of all, the beginning portion of the movie with the two FBI agents investigating the first victim of Palmer's killer is pointless. It added nothing to the movie and only reinforced the M.O. of the killer, which fans of the show, such as myself, already know. I have no idea what Lynch was trying to accomplish here.

Once the movie shifted to the backstory of Laura Palmer, I became more interested. I think Sheryl Lee put forth a very good performance in this movie. Her Laura Palmer is a girl who is trying to find herself, a beautiful young woman with some vicious inner demons. She plays her as always teetering on a precipitous edge of insanity, which accurately described the image I had of Laura Palmer's life while watching the show. I think the events portrayed in the movie synced up pretty well with what was described in the show.

There's just a profound feeling of sadness that permeates this movie which sync up perfectly with the tone of the show. I found the last 10 minutes or so, while disturbing, to be a fitting ending for the experience of this film.

I was disappointed at a few things in this movie: Lara Flynn Boyle not returning to reprise her role as Donna Hayward (the lone recasting from the original show's cast) and the fact that it revealed little to nothing about the events after the show's finale and gave us no answers to some of the cliffhangers. As a self-contained movie, it feels like a mess more than anything else and, to the lay person, just feels like the incoherent visual ramblings of a truly disturbed person. It really doesn't bolster any of the events of the show or give fans any reason to value it at all. At the end of it, I just reflected on the quirkiness of Lynch and valued the performance of Lee, mainly.

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