Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet (1986) by David Lynch, presents beneath the farcade of an idyllic suburban town a sinister underworld of sexual violence and drug abuse. Presented in a vivid and vulgar manner, this film is uncompromising in its nature that becomes one strange yet curiously intriguing experience filled with drama and tension.

Breaking the traditional sense of conventional linearity, Blue Velvet delves in an array of genres for an intriguing unconventional format. From a film noir aesthetic with a vast use of dark cinematography, a female fatale and an unstoppable villain, to the blooming of teenage romance and detective investigations. One cannot be quite sure what to anticipate next.

As such, various themes are presented that are lace with symbolism throughout the film. The ear that Jeffrey discovers is the beginning of the danger and nightmare, as the camera plunges into the depths of a decomposing severed ear, the camera only re-emerges from the ear towards the end of the film. As some opening scenes are repeated at the end with idealistic green lawns in the suburbs, one is suppose to return to the idyllic suburban neighbourhood with all woes forgotten as even see the singer Dorothy appears seemingly unscarred and content. Although for the audience, nothing can ever be quite the same again.

The treatment of women in this film is definitely questionable and can be pretty offensive at times. Shown vividly with little restraint, the film does not attempt to glorify these acts but rather portray them confrontationally as the clearly detestable act that it is, as Jeffrey is tormented by his moment of violence.

Overall, Blue Velvet, while not something to be particularly enjoyed, is an intriguing experience into the depths of an underlying sinister force beneath society full of various symbolism and motifs. The performance of the cast is spot on in capturing the well defined roles of their character, where the audio soundtrack compliments wonderfully to complete the brimming atmosphere.


tutorphil said...

Hi Leo - another lucid and intelligent review; just for your info, be sure to check out the paintings by Norman Rockwell; Lynch references their homespun mythology of small town America, but then Rockwell's vision of a wholesome middleclass has been subverted throughout the various movies we've watched together.

Leo Tsang said...

Thanks Phil. I agree Rockwells paintings really capture that wholesome American feel with a great aesthetic quality. Where the films we've watched definitely turns this entire concept on its head.

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