Monday, February 23, 2009

Still Don't Like It

     After I initially watched Blue Velvet I made a comment on my blog that I wasn't very impressed. I also noted that after some serious discussion in class I probably would end up liking Blue Velvet. I thought that I simply didn't "get" it. Well I've been thinking about Blue Velvet pretty seriously for about 5 days now, and I still don't like it. I do, however, "get" it a little more thoroughly. I know it seems pretty ambiguous to say that you "get" something as strange and abstract as Blue Velvet, I just meant that I've formed my own opinions on what Lynch was trying to say, and what I, as the viewer, took away after careful consideration. I have come to see that most of the movie has a pretty blatant social commentary, and that Lynch is trying to show that the lines between good and evil are often blurred. He does this by using the symbology of light and darkness, pain and pleasure, and the ultimate shift of Jeff's character when he decides to feed Dorothy a swift and sexy knuckle sandwich. My favorite scene is the final one for two reasons: one, because that mean the movie is almost over, and two, because I honestly think that it sums up nicely the theme of the movie. I know we talked about the final scene in depth on Thursday, but the conclusions we reached aren't what I see when I evaluate it. When I see the bird eating the bug, I immediately think of the first scene in the movie when the camera pans down to the bugs munching on whatever it is bugs munch on. I thought Lynch was showing that, although the Robin may be "prettier" than the bugs, it is still just a byproduct of nature. Just like the Beetle, its nature is to eat. This begs the question that I think cleverly sums up the entire movie: "Why does the Robin get treated with reverence when it isn't doing anything that its supposed antithesis, the Beetle, does as well?" Or put more universally, "who gets to decide where to draw the line between good and evil?" I thought it was clever. 

     With that being said, I still don't like the movie. I like weird movies. I adore Kubrick, but Blue Velvet seemed forced to me. I can't think of a better adjective to describe it. It seemed as if Lynch was more interested in creating a movie that would "freak people out" than he was with making a movie that would present the viewer with the theme he intended to instill. The acting was wonderful, the dialog was certainly entertaining, and the execution was clever, but a piece of "cinematic genius?" I think not. 

P.S. I continue to reserve the right to change my mind at any time. I'm slapping a "reserved" sign on my spot on the fence. 

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