Blue Velvet Review
1986, 121 minutes, Rated R
Kyle McLaughlin, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern star in Blue Velvet, a 1986 film by David Lynch. These four fantastic actors give the film their all and pass with flying colors. The film takes place in Lumberton, a fictional town with an unspecified time period. The cars and attitudes appear to be from the 1950s, but many clothes and other details seem to be straight out of the 1980s. There may be no set time period because this story could happen anyplace, anytime. Kyle McLaughlin plays Jeffrey Beaumont, a straight-laced guy who finds a severed human ear in a field and discovers a demented underworld under his nose. This leads him to a seductive nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (a possible Wizard of Oz reference, as the name Dorothy may symbolize Jeffrey being so far from home, even though he was always there) who has some dark secrets. This film has many interesting features, but there is one in particular that may annoy some, but I found brilliant. The acting in the film has a very fake feel. And by fake I mean that they all act like those people that fake to be nice, but really aren’t. The reason why this is so fascinating is because it demonstrates the theme of this film. That is that no matter how nice, beautiful, whatever things look like on the outside, they always have a dark side or hidden core. This is explored through Jeffrey’s journey trying to solve the mystery of the ear. Jeffrey finds everything from gas-fueled rape to kidnapping and murder. To further drive this point home, Lynch starts the film with views of happy people in the town and then subsequently focuses in in an extreme close-up of the ground and the bugs below the grass, symbolizing the darkness below Jeffrey’s feet. On a final note, the mise-en-scene, or set decoration, is excellent as Lynch colors his film with reds, greens, and blues. The reds are especially prominent to show the passion and sin demonstrated by the characters. Also, Lynch uses this film as a take on classic voyeuristic/amateur detective films such as Rear Window. Jeffrey looks in on everyone and solves a mystery through somewhat illegal means as L.B. Jeffries does in Rear Window. Overall, Lynch made a masterpiece out of Blue Velvet. Whether it is the acting, art direction, or the script, Blue Velvet pretty much satisfies on every level. However, I will warn those out there that are easily offended, this film contains graphic violence and sex and contains considerable profanity. However, this did not bother me, though many have argued that this detracts from the film.