Lost Highway movie review By DJ Bri

Lost Highway is a film directed by David Lynch released in 1997. It stars Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette, but features many other famous actors such as Gary Busey and Richard Pryor. The genre is considered to be mystery thriller, but also somewhere between psychological suspense and speculative or surrealist fiction. This film raises more questions than it answers.

To start, it’s certainly not a film fit for children or people with epilepsy. I say that last piece because there’s a jazz concert scene close to the beginning of the film that involves a heavy and erratic use of strobe lights. It’s also artistic in the French sense – there are several sex scenes with almost full nudity, at least on the woman’s part, which may also relate to the connection with porn. As the film continues, the death scenes become increasingly gory – or, should I say, the gore is shown more explicitly. However, the creepiest parts of the film were the psychological suspense aspects, especially the scenes occurring at nighttime. Personally, I was glad it was sunny outside my window because this film is definitely a mind-bender.

It’s clear to see from the beginning of the film that Pullman’s character already has some weird PTSD issues, which doesn’t make sense until the very end of the film. Since it’s an older film, the speaking tracks are much softer than the music tracks. I suggest turning up the volume before it starts so you don’t miss any important dialogue.

There are so many questions about the reasons for the concept of the “lost highway” that crossed my mind while watching the film, but none are conclusively answered.

Was the film an attempt at portraying women as evil for enjoying sex or for punishing women for enjoying public sex/being porn stars, even when forced into the role? Is the loop aspect of it a metaphor for Hell? Does the film intend to show porn and the porn industry as an evil and corrupting influence?

The most pervasive questions were these: who is the “mystery man” (as that is his character name according to IMDB)? How does he know these people or how is he involved with them? Who invited him in? How? When?

The ending is non-conclusive in a way worse than Inception. Many questions are left unanswered (some may seem like spoilers, if you haven’t watched the film). Who or what is the “mystery man”, other than perhaps a metaphor for evil or the capacity for murder? Is the film a time loop Twilight Zone-style, or is it a memory-filled loop that could stand as a metaphor for Hell or the battle of the conscience? How is the protagonist two people at once in either scenario, unless this is a metaphor for an identity disorder? Was Renee Madison truly killed at the beginning, and therefore Alice Walker was a figment of the kid’s imagination? Or was she alive the whole time, in which case, where does she disappear to at the very end of the film, and how did she fake her death so well at the beginning? Are Renee and the “mystery man” one and the same? That might explain how the “mystery man” was “invited” in to Fred Madison (Bill Pullman)’s life.

The only thing that would make sense to me is if the entire film is a metaphor for how memory never truly keeps track of events as they happened and in fact the story is an amalgamation of events in Fred Madison’s life before Prison and he’s going crazy trying to figure out what happened.

It’s clear to see from the beginning of the film that Pullman’s character already has some weird PTSD issues, which doesn’t make sense until the very end of the film. Since it’s an older film, the speaking tracks are much softer than the music tracks, so I suggest turning up the volume before it starts so you don’t miss any important dialogue.

There are so many questions about the reasons for the concept of the “lost highway” that crossed my mind while watching the film, but none are conclusively answered.

Was the film an attempt at portraying women as evil for enjoying sex? Or for punishing women for enjoying public sex/being porn star, even when forced into the role? Is the loop aspect of it a metaphor for Hell? Does the film intend to show porn and the porn industry as an evil and corrupting influence?

The most pervasive questions were these: who is the “mystery man” (as that is his character name according to IMDB)? How does he know these people or how is he involved with them? Who invited him in? How? When?

The ending is non-conclusive in a way worse than Inception. Many questions are left unanswered (some may seem like spoilers, if you haven’t watched the film). Who or what is the “mystery man”, other than perhaps a metaphor for evil or the capacity for murder? Is the film a time loop Twilight Zone-style, or is it a memory-filled loop that could stand as a metaphor for Hell or the battle of the conscience? How is the protagonist two people at once in either scenario, unless this is a metaphor for an identity disorder? Was Renee Madison truly killed at the beginning, and therefore Alice Walker was a figment of the kid’s imagination? Or was she alive the whole time, in which case, where does she disappear to at the very end of the film, and how did she fake her death so well at the beginning? Are Renee and the “mystery man” one and the same? That might explain how the “mystery man” was “invited” in to Fred Madison (Bill Pullman)’s life.

The only thing that would make sense to me is if the entire film is a metaphor for how memory never truly keeps track of events as they happened and in fact the story is an amalgamation of events in Fred Madison’s life before Prison and he’s going crazy trying to figure out what happened.

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