WILD AT HEART
DIRECTOR: DAVID LYNCH
COUNTRY: USA (1991)
CAST: Nicholas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe.
SUPER FEATURES: It's David Lynch.
If you are a fan of European films, and have been for at least fifteen to twenty years, and have seen many films in that time, then David Lynch is a heck of a bore as a director. But, since most of us have not seen much film, other than the standard Hollywood fare, with its designer violence, and high class prostitution, then David Lynch is for you, whether it is TWIN PEAKS or this film, WILD AT HEART.
Somehow, all the characters in David's films are so heavily intertwined that they have to figure out a way to get out of it, if they are going to
make it. In between, are the obligatory SYMBOLS, and I mean SYMBOLS to depict that all this is serious stuff. At least, it is not all bad, as
the fire symbol keeps getting smaller as the film winds down, thus suggesting very clearly that the fire is definitely dwindling, and that maybe these characters have a chance after all.
But if you want to see SYMBOLS and they don't hit you on the head, you should instead go see the likes of JEAN LUC GODARD, LUIS BUNUEL, PIER PAOLO PASOLINI, the ones who defined the genre, and showed how it should be done. If more modern fare with symbols appeal to you, then you should be watching all the stuff in a Nicholas Roeg film. He has more symbols per minute than most people do per hour.
WILD AT HEART is not a bad film. Mainly because it's two leads are very good, and carry the film, by drawing us into their passionate, and entertaining relationship. The down side of the story is that the character Nicholas Cage plays had been mixed up with the girl's mother prior to their chance meeting and eventual relationship. The mother is hell bent on 'protecting' her daughter, in any way she can. And she plays the role of the bad 'witch' all the way to the end, when we finally see her picture disappearing from a little framed portrait. At this point, her doings are over, and the couple now has a chance to make it.
Aside from the usual David Lynch cast of unsavory characters, who keep trying to mess up the story by killing those in their sights, and the suggestive bloody mess of the whole film, it is an entertaining exercise in intellectual activity, that eventually you end up saying.... I hope they get theirs, and they all do, unfortunately, so do the innocent ones. But the couple survives, and the story is over.
The film is very sexual and sensual at the same time. Laura Dern has no 'conscience' when it comes to undressing and having fun with Nicholas Cage, and their moments together are highly charged, and I have to admit, quite erotic making us appreciate the two star struck lovers that much more, and hoping they will make it.
With really good music through out the film, and a camera that is obtrusive, but not bothersome, this is a good film. As compared to Twin Peaks, this is much better, probably because you don't have to sit several weeks trying to guess what's going on. In two hours, you get your answers, and they are satisfactory, which is nice.
(For comparison, if one sees earlier Nicholas Roeg films, the camera often takes an angle that is very much a 'male' point of view, by looking at women with a 'lascivious' attitude. See "Bad Timing, A Sensual Obsession", and "Don't Look Back" for perfect examples. Roeg uses the camera as the male roving eye.)
VERY ROMANTIC FILM, besides the hard times the two characters have.
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