It's kind of amazing I took this long to watch it, considering how the show rocked my suburban high school world in 1990 and '91 and immediately made me a David Lynch fan. I finally saw it Saturday at the Laurelhurst, which chose TP:FWWM as this week's revival film. (Starting Friday: Stop Making Sense. I haven't seen that yet either.) I think that before, I was daunted by it, or maybe daunted by the mostly poisonous reviews the film got on first release. Or maybe I still felt burned by the "What The WHAT?" quality of the show's finale, back in 1991, and feared getting burned again. So: no viewing for decades, and the closest I came to it in that time was reading the liner notes of my cousin Max's copy of the film soundtrack. (She'd been a similarly big fan of the show.)
And so-far (to me) inexplicableness aside, the film nailed the sadness and moodiness that the show was so good at. You go in knowing it ends with someone likable being murdered, for horrific reasons and in horrific circumstances; the film ends with at most a glimmer of the hope for some sort of justice being reached for Laura Palmer. What remains of her (to get metaphysical) knows there will be that almost-justice. Probably the closest to a happy ending there could honestly be.
David Lynch being David Lynch, he still stuffed the film with the odd, the weird, and the oddly/weirdly funny, though he seemed (to me) to focus this humor in the film's wider story, as the FBI investigates an earlier murder in a different small Washington town. That was probably smart; he was taking Laura's tragedy seriously. One thing in the FBI part which I assumed was a dream sequence was, um, not, so I'm still reacquainting myself with this world and how to watch it. And I want to. High school me fell hard for that show; I'd enjoy feeling something like that again.
Tough, difficult, sad movie. That I have trouble saying more about...for now.