Here's David Lynch's basic goal in any of his movies: to create inventive ways to get his female lead to strip naked. This kicks ass if you're a male in need of an erection, but it's got to be rather embarrassing if you're the female lead and you're accepting directions about taking off your clothes from a guy who's not even capable of combing his hair.
In fact, Lynch's hair presents rather an excellent image for his films: it goes all over the damn place and it certainly looks like something to which the guy hasn't given a thought. How can one explain the incomprehensible mess that is "Lost Highway?" The movie doesn't appear to take place in time. Characters turn into each other. One actress plays two different characters who appear to be the same person. There's a guy who has the ability to be in two places at once.
Incidentally, this guy, who looks like he bathes in flour, is none other than Robert Blake, otherwise known as "Baretta." Oh, how the mighty have fallen. From standing next to Humphrey Bogart in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" at the age of ten to David Lynch's freak-of-the-year to close-out his career. Can't you just hear Fred? "Say it ain't so, Tony - ah - say it ain't so."
If you want some help in understanding this film, think of it as a Mobius strip - which is what Lynch is trying to do to your brain - twist it into a confused mass. Two stories occupy each half of the film. First there's Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) having trouble with his wife, Renee (Patricia Arquette), then there's Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty) having trouble with Mr. Eddie's (Robert Loggia) girlfriend, Alice (Patricia Arquette). Explaining any more than that would ruin your sense of utter frustration - and my sense of justice: sometimes knowing others will suffer is my only joy in life.
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