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Blue Velvet
5 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
David Lynch

Written By:
David Lynch

Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Hope Lange, Jack Nance, Dean Stockwell, George Dickerson, Brad Dourif, Priscilla Pointer, Angelo Badalamenti

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Blue Velvet (1986)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
September 5th, 2007

'Blue Velvet' is undoubtedly David Lynch's most surreal and nightmarish movie, and arguably his most famous, strange and beautiful, expertly showing the seedy underbelly of pristine suburbia, and ensnaring one young man in a web of seduction and depravity. That young man is Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), returning home to visit his ailing father at the hospital. While out walking, he discovers a severed ear and takes it to the police. This leads to a series of bizarre events and encounters, with lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Rossellini), who does sultry and hypnotic renditions of the Bobby Vinton song that inspired the title. Her child has been kidnapped by the sadistic and demented Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), who rapes Dorothy whenever he wants and has an obsession with Roy Orbison's "In Dreams". Jeffrey has an affair with Dorothy, and also starts up a relationship with Sandy (Laura Dern), and gets captured by Frank, who introduces him to his warped friends, including Ben (Dean Stockwell), a lip-syncing cross dresser. These are characters one could only find in a Lynch film.

'Blue Velvet' has stunning visuals, a brilliant use of dark colors and skillful manipulations of light and shadow, though the story often gets muddled by its own weirdness, and Lynch does not bother overly much trying to explain every last detail. Hopper is fantastic, in one of his most memorable and terrifying roles. Frank is nothing but pure evil, a cruel nymphomaniac who enjoys bullying and abusing people. The always innocent-looking Dern is wonderful as Sandy, who is shattered to learn the truth about Jeffrey's tryst with Dorothy, yet gets pulled into the whole mess as a result of her own curiosity. Rossellini is superb in a performance that requires her to endure physical and sexual indignity, and stand naked in a yard, her body covered in wounds and bruises. What a troubled and complex woman she is.

MacLachlan is great, and worked with Lynch again in Dune and the series Twin Peaks, and here, his Jeffrey is a dependable and compelling protagonist. The use of music is striking, too, the aforementioned songs featured prominently, evoking an ominous and gloomy mood. Now every time I hear either of them, images from this film get conjured up. There is only one Lynch movie I like better, and it is entirely different, but 'Blue Velvet' is most likely his masterpiece, unlike anything else, and while it lacks any mainstream appeal, I suppose one can appreciate it in cult or arthouse circles.

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