In Defense Of: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Part II)


     As much of a fan you are of Twin Peaks, there’s a chance you saw this and exclaimed, “Fuck you, David Lynch!” And you’d be right to. Imagine that you just saw that jaw dropping final episode, wondering the hell just happened and they announce a movie after the cancelation. It is a cause to rejoice, until you realize that it’s not going to tackle what happened after. You’re going to find out happened to Laura Palmer in the week leading up to her murder. But you don’t want to know that, you want to know what happened to Dale and the Black Lodge goddamit!!!
     I get it, believe me, I fucking get it. But now it’s been 23 years, it’s time to actually look at the movie. And most of the stuff that fans hate about the movie, are the reasons that I love it. The tone of the movie is almost the exact opposite of the show. The show was quirky, a bit strange with that silly sense of humor. The movie is a damn horror story. For a lot of people, this tonal difference was enough to shrug off the film. I just see it as this is Twin Peaks through Laura’s eyes. She’s seeing the town as this evil, soulless place where nobody can hear her cries for help. She is losing her mind (much like Lynch’s characters in Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive) and she acts out in promiscuous ways because of what’s happening at home. As anyone who’s seen the show knows that this movie is tackling issues that are uncomfortable to see on screen, and that’s putting it mildly.
     Here’s one I get. The limited role that Dale plays in the story. While this takes place before Dale ever set foot in Twin Peaks, it does cover the Teresa Banks murder that Dale had a part in, but with Agent Desmond on the case. I’m not going to get into the behind the scenes stuff, but sometimes shit happens and you got to make due. What’s interesting though, is that because Dale makes sporadic appearances, along with Annie, it does answer what really happened at the end of the finale. It’s an answer that sucks ass, but it’s there and makes us want more.
     I guess the thing that really made the movie resonate with me is the performance of Sheryl Lee as Laura. If you just focus on the surrealism of the piece, it’s easy to miss how incredible her performance is. As I pointed out earlier, this character is losing her mind, and Lynch is much more interested in her psychology rather than the mythology of the show, and in some way, I totally respect that. If the movie were the final say in this tale of Twin Peaks, then it tries to end on a note of peace coming from death, that she’s truly among the angels. It isn’t conventional, but when have you ever seen a conventional David Lynch story? (Except The Straight Story, that one freaked me out because it’s normal.)
     After I first saw Fire Walk With Me, I just sat there in stunned, heartbroken silence for a good minute. I didn’t realize that this story needed to be told, and with all its crazy shit, it’s far too real and devastating to watch. That I can understand people not liking the movie, because it’s a subject that no one wants to be confronted with. In looking at it from that limited perspective, this is Lynch’s most fearless work, without the interference of a network, or standards and practices. Ironically, removing it from your mind as apart of Twin Peaks, causes one to see it on its own merits of a poor girl losing her mind, crying for help and no one listened.  


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