Sunday, August 24, 2008

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Shortly after the cancellation of the hit television series known as Twin Peaks, fans still yearned for more. A year after the cancellation of the show, a prequel was made to help tie up some of the loose ends left by the series. Unfortunately, it created more questions than answers. The film didn't do very well, at least not in comparison to the cult phenomenon that emerged from the success of the TV series. It had more than a few strikes against it. A typical David Lynch (who abandoned the show in it's second season, yet returned to film the prequel movie) maneuver was to film as much footage as possible and then piece it all together later on. Over five hours of footage was filmed, yet was cut down to a mere two hours, leaving a tremendous amount of plot holes. Talk is in the air about a re-release of the film with the deleted footage returned. Maybe then, we can make better sense of the movie. Another strike against this film is the absence of all but a small handful of actors that were in the series. Most of them either declined to be in the movie or had other scheduling conflicts. A main character of the show, Donna Hayward, played by Lara Flynn Boyle, cited scheduling conflicts as well, but wide rumor has it that she just didn't want to do the nude scenes to be included in the movie. Therefore, since Donna Hayward was a critical part of the story, the part was recast with Moira Kelly, which confused a lot of people. Being a monster fan of the show, I found the movie quite a work of art and was able to (mostly) understand what was happening. As everyone who's seen the show knows, the story begins with the murder of Prom Queen Laura Palmer. The series builds momentum as the hunt for Laura's killer leads us face to face with the underbelly of the town and about how everyone in Twin Peaks has a secret. The first 17 out of 29 total episodes deals with the Laura Palmer case. The events leading up to Laura's death are slowly but surely revealed. The movie is more or less the last seven days of Laura Palmer's life, verbatim with what was described in the series. Another fault of the movie was that Sheryl Lee was already 25 when she played Laura Palmer who is only supposed to be 17 years old, and when playing out the tawdry secret life she lived, Sheryl Lee could almost pass for 30-something. Another complaint that many people have about the movie was that it was too "in your face", which was a stark contrast to the show where everything was bubbling just under the surface, the allure of everything being so secretive. I never really found this to be a fault though. I mean I loved the secrets of the town and all but this film was supposed to be about Laura's demise, which included drug abuse, prostitution, sexual promiscuity and bondage. So of course it's gonna be tawdry, because that's who Laura was. The audience craved for more information involving Laura Palmer, but when they got it, all they did was bitch about it. I'm positive that this movie could stand alone without having seen the series because that's how I saw it. One night a friend of mine rented it, I'd never seen the show before but was still able to understand what it was about and loved it. Like the show, it was well written and very clever. Granted a few things made more sense after watching the series, but if you don't have an extra 30 hours to watch the series, the movie does just fine.

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