Forgotten Fridays: Wild At Heart

Thanks for checking out our Forgotten Fridays feature. This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.

Today, we review Wild At Heart

Genre:Drama/Dark Comedy (?)

Directed by: David Lynch

Starring: Nicolas Cage. Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Willem Dafoe, J.E. Freeman and Isabella Rossellini

Released: August 17, 1990

THE GENERAL IDEAOkay, here it is, bear with me here…Marietta Fortune, who is criminally insane, does not care for her daughter Lula Pace’s new boyfriend, Sailor Ripley. Sailor used to be work for Santos, who himself is connected to a high level mob boss known as Mr. Reindeer. Marietta is Santos’ mistress; she had him kill her husband several years before. After an attempt on Sailor’s life doesn’t go as planned, Sailor still winds up behind bars. All is quiet until Lula picks Sailor up upon his release. The pair decides to escape together, and eventually wind up in Big Tuna. Texas. By this time, Marietta has reached out to Santos, who also convinces Mr. Reindeer to put a new contract on Sailor, and hitman Bobby Peru is on the trail…as is Johnny Farragut, a private investigator in love with Marietta.

David Lynch is one of thew few directors out there in my view that really put the phrase ‘all film is subjective’ to the test. It has to, for Lynch’s surreal universe is not always liked (see below) but his films are remembered. I think that says something right there. There is enough oddball characters, warped perception and metaphoric visuals that one can enjoy and/or appreciate on some level. I never found Lynch to be a boring filmmaker- there’s always something going on. Foreground, background or subtext. It is these quirky characters, combined with an underworld of mystery and craziness that makes this film in particular come alive. Also, as film lovers, it is not uncommon to recite/quote the quips and dialog of some of these characters. My personal favorite is spoken by Sailor, in a comment regarding his snakeskin jacket; he wears it because it gives him identity and personality. It is my favorite because we all have (or have had) a favorite jacket once in our lives. Mine was a nylon green with white stripes back in my high school years, replaced by a trench coat. Anyway, the film itself has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, and there’s always something new I see (or think I see) with each viewing…when I’m in the right frame of mind for it.

An honorable mention goes to actress Sherilyn Fenn, who plays “Girl In Accident”, a scene which, aside from a character’s head being blown off in an over the top way, is one of more memorable ones of the film. The most disturbing scene, is also strong in tension (more below)

Diane Ladd’s Marietta, of course, is one crazy loose cannon, and is kind of fun to watch in a dark humor sort of way…

and then there’s the soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti- and Chris Issak’s Wicked Game to boot, one of my favorite songs of all time.

…and yes, I’m sure Diane Ladd smeared in red over the white stool is not everyone’s favorite moment. But that’s the way it is for Lynch’s films. They do have odd moments that can be entertaining on some level, trippy in others, and then there is a few times where, in the eye og the beholder, it is outright offensive. There are places in the film be it some sex between the two main characters (with color tints to represent heat) and a tense scene between hit man Bobby and Lula, where he threatens her by repeating “f**k me” in her ear. When she breaks, he laughs it off, walks away. I myself am usually opposed to such things, but I always found myself being more forgiving when it comes to this film. Perhaps it is due to the surreal nature, a painting come to life. I have never read Barry Gifford’s novel on which the film is based on – but as much as I myself am swept up in the picture I have to acknowledge that there is a good segment of the populace which will not be a lenient as I am. In fact, I’m sure there that quite a number of them are also people who I know and respect. I might even go to church with them on Sunday morning or in mornings past. They now may think I have a screw loose. My screw’s been loose since the day I was born, but that’s another story. Not everyone’s on board for this, and I understand that.

Like I said, Lynch will make films that you won’t forget. Not easily, anyway. It’s not for everyone.

I am not going to give an interpretation of the film. That would be wrong. This is more of an appreciation of the film, which is an acquired taste to some. But I’m also willing to bet that there is a lot more folks out there who love the film just for the oddity alone.

You know the drill. Most films I’ll talk about here I already have bought for my library; so while my rating would be high, you give your own rating for yourself!

TV If you are at least a little curious, catch it if it comes on TV.

(**This IS Wild At Heart, so, you know, best of luck finding it on the boob tube**)

Rent If it is something you have heard of and forgotten, or just remember enjoying this as much as I did once upon a time, go rent it.

Buy But if you are like me, and you agree with my review you should go buy it. If its featured here, I already have.

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About Darren

"Revenge is sweet and not fattening." Alfred Hitchcock

3 thoughts on “Forgotten Fridays: Wild At Heart

  1. Yea, not my favorite David Lynch movie, but this was a great one! And in classic Lynch style, we have an unforgettable cast of weirdos and freaks. I especially liked William Defoe in this one… he is so damn psychotic! I love the botched robbery scene where he falls onto his shotgun and blows his head off. Nasty! And Laure Dern is just smoldering in this movie. Ooh Mama! Favorite line, ‘the whole world is wild at heart, and weird on top.’

  2. Cant remember how it starts or ends BUT I remember watching it at some point and have the images branded in my head.

    Yep thats a Lynch film alright.

    always get’s cha somewhere.

  3. Wow…no one makes a comment about this?!?! Criminal..Excellent pick Darren. I’m a huge David Lynch fan down to his most experimental character pieces. I thought Inland Empire was brilliant. Laura Dern was one of the best actresses of the 90’s. Shame she’s not in more things today. Dafoe with his creepy teeth, stayed with me in this film for months.

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