David Lynch's "Wild at Heart" is now out on Special Edition DVD, loaded with features and interviews. More importantly, the movie is a sexy and violent good time, though those who are not fans of Lynch's work should stay clear.
And me? Well, I like some of his movies and I don't like some. "The Elephant Man" was good. "The Straight Story" was good (albeit not stereotypical Lynch). "Mulholland Dr." was pretty good, but the ending was perhaps a bit too much for me. "Blue Velvet" was also too strange. It's very rare for me to have a "mainstream" director who I find too strange, but Lynch definitely falls into that category. It's probably just me, but I often don't understand his weirdness. It sails right over my head.
For instance, "Wild at Heart" is about a man named Sailor, played by Nicolas Cage, who is sent to prison after he commits brutal manslaughter. When he gets out, he reunites with the love of his life, Lula, played by Laura Dern. Fearing her mother because he knows something about her father's death, Sailor takes Lula across the country, despite being on parole, and proceeds to have sex with her a whole heck of a lot. So, essentially, "Wild at Heart" is an erotic love story with some very violent sequences and - hold your breath - allusions to "The Wizard of Oz."
The story itself is very well done, with a good screenplay, great acting and fun direction. Cage and Dern are at their best here, as is Willem Dafoe as a psychotic thief or whatever the heck he was supposed to be. If only we could all have teeth as nice as his. Of course, the acting only enhances the screenplay, which is very strong and believable. Lynch also seemed to have a lot of fun making the movie, as he revels in every aspect of it, from the strange characters to the sex scenes to the gory shootout where heads and hands literally fly.
The ending is a bit strange (how many times have I used the word "strange" in this review?) and off beat, and definitely not Hollywood-ish; though it ties up the romantic element of the film, it seemed to be rather anticlimactic regarding the other storylines in the movie. Maybe I missed something, or maybe I unknowingly fell asleep for the five minutes when Lynch wrapped things up, but I'm pretty sure some of the plots are just never finished.
Still, "Wild at Heart" is an interesting and unique "romance." It's definitely for the wild and not for the faint of heart.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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