Blue Velvet

May 25, 2015


David Lynch was actually a bit disappointing here with Blue Velvet. Not to say the film lacks quality, it simply lacks his signature psychosis. Yes, there exists that quasi-Tarantino under world – though admittedly this film existed before Reservoir Dogs was a twinkle in Quentin’s eye. At best we have a very simple-minded plot of a curious college kid and a beautiful young high school senior who have nothing better to do but solve a murder mystery.


In such small towns as in the film’s setting, finding an ear in the field is an exciting development. It takes one away from the ordinary and routine, and puts one if not in a more intense mystery, at least an awakened slumber of how impenetrable existence is. But this is mystery that is much more tangible. It has a strictly human element. And with that, its machinations possess intrigue, suspense, and above all else drama to the young kids with nothing better to do. The pursuit, in that case, is not meaningless. It is not a divertissement. It is a microcosm of the human condition sparked with the needle of enigma until the source of the prick is found.


The kids find out simply enough, through their mischief, that there exists bad men in the world. Indeed, these men are bad for the very sake they create their own lackeys, who can dispense with their corrupted ends thereby making the bad man even more productive – or rather destructive. Of course, these men never get very far, but until they are done with their havoc they simply act as iron weights sinking the ship of humanity downward. Their mode of being of destruction then is nicely contrasted with the innocence possessed by the teens. It wonderfully demonstrates the need for increased material prosperity, where one never even develops the contemplation of turning downward to survive and thrive. That is to say, the success of their parents preempted the possibility of them developing the sensibility towards evil.


And it is interesting how this is not a simple comment, but the overall panoramic of the film. That wealth enables one to avoid danger. The woman singer who is central to the plot engages herself with such danger almost necessarily due to some bare necessity that needs to be fulfilled while her singing talents don’t make ends meet. A corrupt police officer, too, risks his life all to be able to taste a better steak.


Now clearly, these acts of desperation are unnecessary if the individuals were content with what they had, which is plenty, or if they had the patience to develop excellence, which is always easier said than done. There simply are insufficient resources for the individuals to educate themselves on how to become wealthy. So they act, instinctively, which is never a good idea when attempting to create wealth, which is accumulated over years of effort and not instantaneously.


Blue Velvet then exposes the Socratic wisdom that individuals seek behave properly, but are often times lacking the resources to do so.


Grade: B


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